NEWS: Global Mentoring Solutions is now part of the Sherweb family. Click here to read more about the acquisition.

This was the question of the hour at the recent MSP University Boot Camp held in Seattle.  There are many hallway conversations focused on the pros and cons of trusting an Outsourced MSP Help Desk and many Managed Service Providers are typically struggling to understand the total value proposition; or in some cases still remain fearful of putting trust in a 3rd party help desk service.

Should your managed service business deploy a help desk and NOC service? If yes, how can a well-oiled help desk fill gaps in your service offerings?

First off, a rock solid help desk is a must for today’s managed services business.  You have two choices, first, you can elect to keep this in-house and deal with all the staffing and logistical challenges associated with setting up and maintaining a help desk.  Conversely, you can align your interests with a professional organization that provides a complete and fully-staffed outsourced MSP help desk and NOC. This way they deal with all the staffing and logistical requirements allowing you to focus on business – and you pay for what you use in terms of services rendered.

A properly staffed help desk can provide enormous additional value to your existing clients and become a differentiator in the market when going after new business.  Not every MSP is expert at every piece of technology.  A few of the immediate gaps a help desk fills is rounding out your service offering either in terms of hours of availability or breadth of support provided remotely.

Do you struggle to understand a specialty application or product?  Many MSP help desk service providers offer in-depth support and knowledge around many main stream applications and devices.  This can really save you headaches with sourcing a resource, managing vendors and training your staff to handle new products released on the market.

What about after hours support?  Life-work balance is a concept that many of us are aware of however we often don’t practice it.  This is another gap in terms of scalability and sustainability in your service offering that can be easily filled with an outsourced help desk.  Wouldn’t it be great if you can go home and turn off your email or cell phone without the worry of after hour calls disrupting your evenings?

I will let you in on a few key factors in choosing an Outsourced MSP Help Desk from my experience.

  1. Ensure there are no hidden caveats that will affect the customer experience in any way.
  2. Check references and ask tough questions throughout the sales process… make sure the provider you are talking with are true professionals
  3. Security Protocols – make sure your customers data is safe, and that your provider has a track record of proper security (this will be evident with the types of Partners they have attracted)
  4. Low barriers to entry and flexible integration – make sure they are going to take the time to tailor a solution that makes the most sense to your customer base, and are not just trying to close a deal with upfront costs.
    • Questions surrounding the providers on-boarding process will shed light into their organizational abilities and professionalism

There are many crucial benefits to engaging with and rolling out your own 24/7 MSP Help Desk.  Not only do you have a mechanism to provide top-notch services to your clients, you also have a key separator from your competition.  If you want to bounce ideas, don’t hesitate to reach out.