'Instant' Managed Services Program Gains Traction with Smaller VARs
Low-risk plan from San Diego master reseller allows channel partners to provide suite of services for low monthly fee
Small VARs eager to tap into the managed services market, but leery of high upfront costs of several thousand dollars per service vendor, may find a white knight in the shape of Do IT Smarter.
The program gives VARs the opportunity to sell a suite of managed services for a monthly fee that starts at $299 after they pay a sign-up fee of $1,999.
Do IT Smarter has attracted 150 VARs to its Instant-MSP program in a little more than two years, said Don Begg, the companys CEO.
Begg said his company has invested more than $750,000 in technology, services, and marketing programs, and has built relationships with leading managed service vendors such as SilverBack, SonicWall and Level Platforms.
VARs that have joined the MSP program say it has successfully bosted business.
Our managed services business has quadrupled since last May and is worth about $14,000 a month, said Paul Byrne, CEO, ReadyTECH, a San Diego-based VAR that only uses managed services from Do IT Smarter.
Do IT Smarters program also has boosted managed service profits at Focused Networks, a Chula Vista, Calif.-based VAR, according to Alex del Rio, the VARs managing partner.
We make several thousand dollars per month in recurring revenue, said del Rio. Selling managed services has improved our cash flow, widened our customer base and enabled us to create a few full-time positions.
The program instructs VARs on best practices and the nuances of becoming MSPs, said Begg. He added that the sign-up fee includes a structured training program designed to help VARs learn about managed services, how to succeed, and how to tailor managed services to their business.
Begg noted that VARs also receive technology training and learn about establishing SLAs, marketing, collateral, pricing, help desk, contracts, and selling their services In return, VARs gain the opportunity to earn between 30 and 60 percent margins, he said.
In all cases, VARs still manage their daily customer relationships and handle situations that call for onsite remediation, said Begg.
End-to-end services are offered through third-party partnerships. Currently, those services and partnerships consist of: remote monitoring (Dell, SilverBack and Level Platforms); IT service management (Service-Now); Email and Internet security (MX Logic); firewall (SonicWall); remote backup (Digisense); product fulfillment (ASAP Software); and print services (Xerox).
In addition, Do IT Smarter provides homegrown enterprise help desk and NOC services.
Do IT Smarters program gives us a great way to deliver services to our clients without any hassle, said Byrne. He particularly likes the freedom the program gives ReadyTECH to offer fixed-priced services with SLAs because that arrangement minimizes his companys on-site work for clients while maximizing its profitability.
I also like Do IT Smarters best practice assessment tool because it allows me to perform a free, non-threatening assessment of a clients IT inventory and needs, said Byrne. I can do the assessment in about two hours, and it usually leads to business.
Both del Rio and Byrne said Do IT Smarter does a good job of providing leads through its demand generation program. The program, starting at $49.95 per month, offers a web-based portal that allows VARs to sign up for direct mail campaigns, email blasts, telemarketing scripts, newsletter copy, brochure ware and vendor-sponsored webinars.
For Focused Networks, Do IT Smarters Instant-MSP program has not only enabled it to transition from project-based, break-fix engagements to selling managed services but it has enabled it to appear larger that it actually is.Over the next 12 months, Do IT Smarter plans to double its VAR customers through referrals and marketing, said Begg.