Guest Column | May 21, 2014

How To Bundle And Price Managed Services

By David Streit, Principal, Stephill Associates, LLC, ASCII Group Member Since 2012

Sometimes a client will ask me, “What computer should I buy?” I can only answer that question with a series of other questions about their unique computing needs and preferences. If I ask another IT service firm how they bundle and price their managed services plans, I hear entirely different options and pricing from my own plans. Each client is unique in terms of their buying patterns, just as each business owner is unique in their pricing structure.

Today, it’s difficult to imagine any viable IT service firm who isn’t doing some type of managed services — the bundling of automated maintenance, monitoring, antivirus, antimalware, and backup — billed monthly. My managed services revenue is only 20 percent of my practice, but it is growing, and it is the focus of my marketing efforts because of the stable, recurring revenue which evens out the non-recurring busy and slow periods of project and break/fix work. There is little consensus and no one approach that has been adopted as THE dominant scheme. When a newbie in my discussion group posts a message for details about managed services plans, I roll my eyes. The question is pointless. What works for me may not work for them. The same is true for clients. I can present a managed services proposal to a prospective client with the knowledge that a competitor will offer something entirely different.

Plan an MSP (managed services provider) offers is dependent upon their staffing, their client base, their skills, and their RMM (remote monitoring and management) tools they use. That makes your MSP plans unique. They are a starting point and will change as you test them with clients and prospects. If they aren’t signing up, then change the plans.  Eventually you’ll settle on what works for you.

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