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Remote managed services versus having your staff go onsite to work with your clients. This is a tough call for many, and based on the conversations I have on a daily basis – many IT Solution Providers and even some Managed Service Providers are still scratching their heads on what the proper blend should be.

When I put my business owner hat on, I can immediately see the benefit of working remotely and providing as much service as I possibly can without considering rolling a truck or deploying techs in the field.  Remote managed services after all, can be extremely profitable when executed properly.


However, what is the catch?

What I have seen throughout my years in the MSP business is that too much of a focus on remote managed services and not enough onsite service jeopardizes your relationship with the client. Doesn’t it?

We have all experienced that difficult meeting justifying what we do when our key client contact doesn’t see us or even hear from us.  In the end, do we over react and throw more focus and resources on our onsite managed services; or do we tweak the different type of services we provide?

I am all in favor of working on tickets remotely whenever possible. Many of Ulistic’s MSP coaching clients strive for this perfect balance.  Many determine, like I did when running my MSP, IT Matters, that it is very profitable when executed and deployed correctly.

However, we also need to realize that when you have the right people providing the onsite support services, this approach can also increase profitability when your engineers and technical staff have the ability to uncover new opportunities.  These opportunities are often missed when we are too focused on just working remotely.

Balance is the key when it comes to your complete managed services offering.

Having the right people on your hosted help desk providing remote managed services support to your clients is crucial, but you need to balance this with a Cracker Jack team of onsite support professionals.

Each month I sit down with CEOs from all corners of the country and hash out the best ways to deliver IT services.  Many are still determining what the secret ingredient is for their own MSP service recipe. Here is what I have learned:

  • People want IT to work, period!  Users don’t understand that technology breaks down from time-to-time, just like their car.  They expect IT to be like their microwave oven. IT simply fails.  We must make sure that we were able to resolve IT challenges quickly when they come up and actually shift our focus from reactive; we must shine up our crystal balls and see challenges before they even exist.  At the end of the day, we need to make sure “stuff works”.
  • Get valuable face time.  Our clients need to see us; and during my travels teaching around the country, this is the same message I hear from many of you.  Your clients want to see you.  Yes, take care of things immediately over the phone, resolve issues remotely when possible; but you also need to get up from your desk every once in a while.
  • Invest in the client’s future.  Having quarterly business reviews is not enough.  We must invest in the client’s future daily.  What do I mean by this?  My MSP was the CIO for all of our clients.  We automatically played this role; we didn’t wait to be invited.  We just did it without hesitation.  This way, anything that impacted the way our clients performed their duties, we could get involved with.  We did our jobs as the CIO.

How are you going to balance your onsite and remote managed services?  Every MSP business must be different in some way, and you must find that perfect balance that is right for your clients.  What have you tried that has worked, or better yet – not worked?