What is Highlight? And How Highlight Can Change Your Commercial Strategy

Written by Richard Thomas

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    Highlight is an insights platform built specifically to transform the commercial strategies of MSPs and other IT Service providers. It enables business-level users (sales teams, service managers, operations agents and product managers) to access actionable insights about network performance data and use that information to drive decision making. 

    It then connects those users and insights directly with customers in order to strengthen those relationships and enable the delivery of holistic and value-added services that differentiate providers from within a commoditised market. 

    What is an Insight Platform?

    There are three main components to the success of the Highlight platform: 

    1. Insights focused: Highlight goes beyond analytics to contextualise that information with specifics about your operation. These insights enable direct action based on analysis and simplify the ability of users to apply performance data for commercial outcomes. 
    2. Relevant information: User-specific displays focus different users specifically and only on the information they need. This streamlines operations and even enables multi-tenancy control over customers and teams. 
    3. Customer-facing displays: Highlight is a tool for service providers and their customers. Shared displays keep everyone on the same page and enable service providers to transform how their customers engage with their network — integrating you as part of their in-house team and cultivating a culture of trust through total and mutual visibility. 

    The technological landscape continues to grow and drive innovation. However, as any market matures, it becomes far harder to differentiate yourself, particularly in the IT service field. Customers come to expect quality outcomes and have more options to find those outcomes, often at a lower cost. 

    An effective commercial strategy dictates exactly how you can combat the above. That is, how you can fight service commoditisation through service differentiation — and meet your customers’ expectations — all the while increasing your profit margin. 

    Below you’ll find a comprehensive breakdown of exactly what our platform does, how it works, the challenges it’s built to overcome, and the outcomes it necessitates when used effectively. Let’s get started… 

    Why do MSPs need an Insight Platform?

    The primary need for an insight platform is driven by the range of challenges that MSPs face in 2021, including:

    1. Service Commoditisation

    As we’ve already mentioned, the managed service provider market is becoming increasingly commoditised. As a result of the inevitable maturation of both the market and the connected technology, increased commoditisation of IT services refocusses customers away from the best experience and into a race to the bottom for the best value.

    As both network technologies and their providers become increasingly interchangeable and standardised, it can be hard to stand out from competitors and capture a significant market segment.

    2. Data security and regulation

    Owing to the rapid pace of technological advance, which often outstrips its attached regulation and compliance structures, the laws around data security are subject to constant change. The potential costs of breaching regulations like GDPR for MSPs are clear, with the loss of customer confidence and brand reputation almost as costly as potential fines and third party litigation.

    A constantly updated understanding of changing regulations and compliance requirements shields MSPs from potential risks and can help to mitigate the costs associated with breaching compliance. 

    3. Customer churn

    Knowing how to reduce customer churn as an IT service provider is difficult. Coupled with this an inability to extend viability over the full extent of service delivery makes identifying potential pain points far more difficult. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, this lack of understanding of how your network is being delivered and received can have a disastrous impact on your margins. 

    Hidden pain points lead to increased customer churn because of reduced satisfaction while providers are unable to identify and resolve these issues, resulting in a potentially crippling downward spiral of customer retention. 

    How does Highlight work? 

    In light of the increasing challenges faced by MSPs in 2021, Highlight offers a range of monitoring and data collection solutions that can help providers grasp the opportunities of the new remote working environment, including:

    Insights over data: 

    Traditional data capturing tools are great at amassing huge amounts of raw performance data and presenting it in an unmanageable mass that can overwhelm even the most technically-minded analyst.

    Highlight focuses on producing actionable insights, rather than just contextless raw data, giving service providers an unparalleled level of visibility and understanding over how their network is provided and received. When Service Managers have unparalleled visibility into customer networks, they can identify performance issues before they arise, and proactively provide clients with service evolutions or tweaks. This demonstrates exponential service value to customers and helps to cultivate a culture of trust. 

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    Non-technical displays: 

    Not all teams, especially those that are customer-facing, have the skills needed to configure and interpret complicated technical dashboards. 

    Highlight provides tailored non-technical interfaces that allow all levels of expertise to access the valuable insights Highlight extracts from their raw data. Our intuitive Heat Tile interface allows multiple levels of login, ensuring different team members only have access to the data they need to, increasing data security and reducing information overload. 

    Multi-tenancy control: 

    Large scale multi-tenancy systems require extending control over potentially thousands of accounts. So, interoperability and deployability of services is vital — you must ensure seamless service delivery as well as upkeep to ensure client frustration and dissatisfaction is kept at bay.

    With Highlight, each reseller has their own dedicated log-in that lets them access only the discrete data they need to see. This allows providers to effortlessly manage large numbers of accounts and frictionlessly navigate between estates. 

    Customer-facing tools: 

    In addition to team-specific tools, Highlight offers customer-facing dashboards that provide a range of data visualisation tools. These customer dashboards reduce the amount of work required to express value added-insights to customers. They are also a critical differentiator in the customer experience, an important measure in an increasingly commoditised market.

    Proactive notifications: 

    Comprehensive notifications and alerts allow providers to complete proactive maintenance, without impacting the customer experience, and use the data provided to enact continuous improvement on their service level agreements (SLAs). The capacity to automate alerts as and when service performance issues arise (or even before) grants Service Managers and Sales Managers an opportunity to up-sell and impress customers like never before. 

    Beyond the firewall: 

    The range of data gathered by Highlight can actively extend your business model. Using the actionable insights gathered about your customer’s LAN and WiFI setups allows you to offer full IT stack management services or act as a consultant, adding new and lucrative value streams.

    What outcomes can Highlight help you achieve?

    With a wide range of services and analytics, Highlight offers MSPs the ability to enact a huge range of business-positive outcomes, including:

    Boosted margin: 

    In an increasingly competitive and commoditised market, those companies that stand out are the ones that provide more than just a network. The increased communication and consultancy potential offered by Highlight allows producers to become far more than just a technology supplier and allows them to explore new and lucrative growth areas. Essentially, total and mutual connectivity is the key to grow your margin

    Stronger more trusting relationships: 

    Another area of differentiation in an increasingly commoditised sector, building meaningful customer relationships adds a level of value that customers are willing to pay more for. Using sharable dashboards and visualisations allows providers to have more meaningful conversations with their customers, leading to a better customer experience.

    Reduced churn: 

    Greater visibility over how your network is delivered and received allows providers to head off potential issues and combat pain points before they drive customers away. With a greater ability to communicate those improvements to your customers, you can ensure that they fully understand the depth of the service you offer. What’s more, Highlight combines reduced churn with the information you need to reimagine sales enablement as well as effectively recognising and acting on cross-selling or up-selling opportunities to your customers. 

    Remember, existing customers are up to 50% more likely to accept an upsell than new customers. Insights derived from customer data make it possible to add a consultative edge to the process, better emphasising the benefits of what you are offering.

    Improved performance: 

    Instead of wading through seas of data, Highlight’s advanced analytics allows you to concentrate on creating positive outcomes. By contextualising and refining the gathered data, and combining it with real-time notifications, Highlight allows you to proactively solve problems and create a better service to reduce churn.

    • Conduct advanced white-space analysis: Instead of launching blind, Highlight allows companies to conduct white-space analysis and testing, allowing you to refine and polish new products, services, and updates before a wider launch.
    • Add consultative value: With Highlight providing an in-depth understanding of customers’ networks, sales teams can be geared up with genuine insights that accurately frame upselling/cross-selling opportunities with the value they can bring to the customer.

    Differentiated services: 

    In order to combat the commodification of the MSP market, Highlight offers the chance to stand out from the competition by increasing the value spread across multiple possible services, including:

    • Become a part of the team: Enhanced communication allows you to always be on hand to provide the right help at the right time, while increased access to data insights offers the chance to provide consultation and management services.
    • Selling holistic services: Offering an end-to-end holistic solution allows providers to rise above being just a font of technology and become a unified solution to their customers’ networking needs. 
    • Build better relationships: By both providing and communicating increased value, providers can build close relationships with their customers, reducing churn and increasing upselling opportunities.

    What’s next…

    Through Highlight, MSPs can access a huge range of value-added services, taking advantage of genuine data-derived insights to attract new customers, retain existing ones, and set themselves apart from the competition in a rapidly commoditised marketplace.

    To see how Highlight can revolutionize how you do business, talk to one of our experts today!

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