MSPs Third-Party Maintenance Business Strategies: Part III: Trusted Parties
Finding the right partner is key to third-party maintenance agreements’ success. Here are some things to look out for and how you can capitalize on these opportunities. Resellers, network service providers, and MSPs have the best opportunities in today’s economic climate. Third-party maintenance (TPM), agreements can be quickly sold and implemented for small and medium businesses (SMB) clients. This is the fastest way to cash, as we have discussed in Part I (Protect Your Portfolio), and Part II (Risks Assessments and Analysis), of our TPM series.
This third installment demonstrates the importance of partnering only with the best and most trusted TPM service providers. It is important to choose or transition to a trusted TPM partner. Who is on the list of trusted partners? It’s the partner you have known since the beginning of your technology practice: your Tier-One distribution partner!
Although there are other private equity-backed companies in the TPM industry, all major distributors have been there for you from the beginning. You can be sure that not one of them has ever taken you directly and they will never. These are often billion-dollar global giants who dwarf even the biggest players in the TPM market. Every major distributor has a services division. Most offer channel-friendly TPM programs that guarantee non-compete partnerships.
Dale Foster, president at Climb Channel Solutions, spoke out on TPM. Foster shared that TPM is about efficiency and entanglement. Foster shared that TPM is simplified by a shoutout to the quoting module. The TPM motion increases customer loyalty in the areas software, hardware, maintenance. MSPs and their partners want to be the end all’ of customer relations while also protecting their customers.
Selecting the right partner
Nothing is better than hearing directly from a customer! GC Micro is a technology solutions provider that focuses on the defense and aerospace industries. William Holcomb, account manager shared the following information in an interview.
How would you rate white labeling that uses a third party to provide maintenance services, on a scale from 1-10?
Working with our TPM partners is one of the most important aspects. It simplifies the problem and reduces it to GC Micro (even though there may be other companies involved in the background). You can’t go wrong with a 9 or 10.
Are you satisfied with the “cost” and its real value?
The cost is of real value. We have compared the approach of our partners to other providers and found that the costs are very competitive.
How has asset management helped you improve your profitability?
Customers use the portal to manage assets ‘not under contract’ and those under contract. We can convert assets that are not under contract to an under contract situation.
How did you choose your TPM partners?
There were a few factors that played a role. I had worked with the team members before so I was familiar with their credibility. I work with the team to overcome client objections regarding functionality, features, and workflow. It has taken the client concern, “That’s why TPM agreements don’t suit me,” off the table.
Have you found a TPM partner helpful in growing your business?
We were able to identify new opportunities and expand existing business relationships by using the TPM solution before we started.
Is it protecting your customer base against external competitive threats?
Service level agreements (SLAs) are one example. We work in highly regulated environments, where downtime must not exceed four hours. We can manage this process and keep our competitors from our accounts with the help of our solution set.
How important is the non-compete/non-solicitation protections working with trusted distribution partners?
It is crucial to be able “TRUST” your partner. It is important that the platform gives customers visibility so that they can be identified and contacted.
Would you like to track the entire customer’s life cycle?
Yes. Yes. We track the entire lifecycle.
What can you do to ensure your safety and enjoy the new future TPM? You can return to distribution, your oldest and most trusted partner.
Harry Brelsford founded SMB Nation, a publishing company and events company that focuses on the SMB technology channel community.