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    Why Your Support Stack is Getting Too Expensive

    Posted by Ricky Cecchini on May 4, 2021 12:11:46 PM

    Putting together your solution stack for your MSP business can be challenging. 

    Not only do you have lots of vendor choices to make in every major service area (like backup vendors, security suites, SOC, NOCs, and more), but you must also decide where to draw the line with where your service stack starts and ends. 

    Some MSPs choose to stick to verticalized markets with only certain stack elements, while others go for the wide-net approach and purchase tools to meet the needs of clients and prospects.  

    The former is a bit easier to account for, but the latter means having to always be on the hunt (or at least aware) of viable vendors in every IT-related space. 

    As if all that isn’t enough, there’s another huge issue: Cost 

    Calculating the Cost of the Stack 

    The cost of putting together a comprehensive stack can be staggering.  

    As an experiment, try doing some mental math at how much you’re spending on the following solution stack tools: 

    • Professional service automation (PSA) tool 
    • Remote monitoring and management (RMM) tool 
    • Backup software 
    • Security software 
    • Client training 
    • Web hosting 
    • Email hosting 
    • Ticketing software 
    • Microsoft 365 (and relevant M365 management tools) 
    • Customer satisfaction (CSAT) tool 
    • Reporting and client presentation tool 
    • Network detection tool 
    • Warranty reporting software 
    • vCIO software 
    • Anything else not listed that’s used for daily operations 

    Even in a high-level calculation of these tools, you’re bound to put up some hefty numbers.  

    The issue isn’t in the stack costs per-se but the sheer number of pieces of software needed to operate the business. Looking back, there’s a clear pattern of stack costs steadily rising for MSPs, year over year.  

    That’s because the bar for service delivery has been set high, even at a basic level.  

    MSPs often find themselves in an arms race to equip themselves with a competitive stack that both works and integrates well with their current tools and work methodology. 

    As more products hit the market over time and as client needs evolve, the stack costs seemingly keep climbing higher and higher 

    MSPs are forced to try and keep up in this expensive race. But there’s a potential cost-cutting answer here – consolidation.  

    What Tools Can Stay? What Tools Should Go? 

    It’s time to take a good, hard look at the monthly bills for your stack tools. 

    Nearly all MSPs will be able to look at their stack of tools and determine which can objectively be dismissed or otherwise consolidated. Consolidation of tools can save money and improve the thing that matters the most – the client experience. 

    You can’t forget that the whole purpose of having a stack in the first place is to deliver value and excellence to your clients. 

    Many of the tools within the stack (like your PSA and RMM) are intended for your own management and operation, so they’ll be difficult to rule out or consolidate.  

    But there’s still plenty of room to cut costs for other tools in your stack – take CloudRadial as an example.  

    CloudRadial is designed to consolidate many of the client-facing tools into one platform that both cuts costs and makes the client experience much better.  

    Take a handful of different tools that are client-facing, such as: 

    • A ticketing system
    • vCIO platform 
    • A reporting repository 
    • A training platform 
    • A company intranet 
    • An M365 reporting system 

    If you can put those into a singular platform, you can remove the costs for a significant chunk of your stack and make it easier for clients to engage and interact with you.  

    Finding the Strategies that Work for You 

    Looking for tools that offer a clearly defined strategy and a dynamic platform with multiple features can ultimately do wonders for consolidating stack costs and improving the overall operation of the business. 

    Give CloudRadial a try today to see how it can consolidate your stack costs and improve your client experience.  

    Topics: account management, msps