Third-Party Maintenance Business Strategies For MSPs (Part II – Risk Assessments and Analysis).

MSPs are asked every week how to find and secure new technology service opportunities. The third-party maintenance opportunity exists right now. Let’s talk about business development. MSPs are focused on creating new revenue streams to generate cash in order to survive the current economic climate. Part 1 of this series was about third-party maintenance (TPM). We showed how MSPs can engage in a pandemic pivot to protect their business model portfolio by actively promoting TPM solutions and services. There was also a need for MSPs protect your customer’s technology assets/portfolio through extending the useful lives of technology assets during a recession.
Risk Assessments
MSPs frequently ask me how to find new opportunities in technology services. Let’s assume that we have established that the TPM opportunity exists, and let’s get started with business development. The trend for MSPs to go beyond simply providing technical services and add value with business technology solutions and insights has been a long-standing trend.
TPM is prime for gaining clients with technology assessments in 2020’s second half. This can be done as a business development exercise or as a business development exercise. TPM risk assessments have two components: the physical and the financial/business. MSPs can perform a physical risk assessment using a variety of tools that scan the network and report back information such as inventory, patching, and hardware warranty information. This provides the foundation for MSPs to use simple TPM analytics to create reports or dashboards that show the need for continued warrant coverage via TPM.
BEST PRACTICE: In general, the MSP would review the information and then share the highlights with the client. I would advise you to not share too much technical assessment information. Clients expect you to analyze the data and create information they can understand.
MSPs who want to grow new revenue sources will be disappointed by the old adage “what we can measure, we can manage”. Once you have the above analytics you can now work side by side with your client to determine which extended warranty via TPM is best. There are many players and each one has its own unique attributes.
The final question is whether your risk assessment should come free to your potential client, or should you charge for it as an MSP. There are viable arguments for both sides of the matter. You can do a simple search to see some of the analysis from thought leaders and make your decision.
Risk Analysis
This leads to the decision of which TPM service you want to engage. To secure a TPM contract, you should think about who your partners are. One concern is to partner with a TPM provider that has private equity backing. Why? Why?
Hedge Strategy
To protect your MSP business portfolio from a TPM scenario, there is an easy solution: Use reputable technology distributors who are channel friendly, have a long-running company with many referrals, and with whom you may already be in a relationship. Distributors will not directly solicit or steal your client. All done!
Harry Brelsford founded SMB Nation, a publishing company and events company that focuses on the SMB technology channel community.

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