It truly amazes me how many things in today’s world also come full circle. Just look around and you will see many common things in use today were also popular many years ago.
Over the past few weeks as I meet with clients around the world, one term is becoming more and more popular once again. Outsourcing. Many managed service providers are electing to go back to the basics and now using the term “Outsourced IT Support” as the core description of the services they provide to their clients.
And as a marketing and business development professional, I love this term. Sure, to many the word outsourcing leaves a bad taste in their mouths and thoughts of DELL’s helpdesk in India linger throughout their thought process. True, many have been burnt by DELL’s outsourcing but in reality they offshored the support to India.
Outsourced IT support is exactly what your managed services business provides and if we peel back the layers of many businesses we also see the MSP outsourcing their marketing and cold calling, and they employ an outsourced help desk to field many of their support calls. So is outsourcing really a bad word?
In a recent discussion with a managed services provider in Pennsylvania I was told this, “Outsourcing is only bad if you are the one affected by outsourcing”. After a more in depth discussion, I found out that this new upstart MSP was once a victim of his employer outsourcing IT services to another IT outsourcing firm making his position redundant. However, it is also ironic that this once in house IT professional is now providing IT consulting services which companies in Pennsylvania can outsource portions of the IT management too.
There is a difference between outsourcing and offshoring. Offshoring is taking job functions and moving them outside the country. There are many professionals around the world itching to provide services through an offshoring model. Many MSPs also employ this business model using offshore help to complete daily tasks such as web development, programming and even NOC services.
Here is my recommendation. Embrace the terminology outsourcing and start using it in your marketing. Your target audience will understand the term outsourcing long before they will understand managed services provider. It is your job to educate your prospects that you are the trusted outsourced IT provider or specialist and your services include them outsourcing the management and day to day care of their computer networks to you.
Explain to them that you are the local IT outsourcing specialists and there is a huge difference in what you do compared to firms that offshore services. You still answer the phone with Hello, you can come to meet them face-to-face when required and that you are a local company ready to help them with whatever IT challenges and service needs they may have.
Outsource is not a swear word, embrace it and start using it. People do get it and they will understand more about what you do and how you do it.