How Service Providers Can Increase Profits by Adding More Services
By now, service providers like you have seen the traditional bar chart going up and to the right that shows how monthly recurring revenues increase profits. A portfolio showing existing monthly contracts is one of the few things that can readily be valued about a business.
If you’re a technical professional, these contracts go a long way toward justifying your paycheck when sales are down. If you’re in sales, these can keep paychecks coming even at the worst of times. And if you’re an owner, these become extremely useful when you’re ready to execute your exit strategy.
Incentives on the sale of cloud subscriptions may be monthly recurring revenue, but they’re not enough to build a business on. For that, you need to add other services wrapped around each subscription.
Making money in the meantime
When a customer buys a cloud services subscription from you, to, say, Hosted Exchange, many things have to happen before, during and after the transition to this cloud service. Somebody has to plan the deployment of the mailboxes and provision the services for the users. Usually, customers buy a bundle of cloud services from you. Somebody has to determine how they’ll all work together.
What are the security provisions? The users need to be trained. The data has to be migrated. Long term, the services will need to be managed and the users supported. Somebody has to manage all of that.
That somebody should be you.
To generate more profit by leveraging cloud subscription sales, wrap your own services around each contract. There is much work for a service provider to do for its customers before they ever enter into a cloud service subscription contract. The cloud service needs to be planned for, selected and evaluated, and a deployment strategy must be devised. All of these are fee-bearing services.
Then, there’s even more work to be done to transition customers from their current on-premise systems to the new cloud service. Data must be migrated. Services must be provisioned. New client interfaces and devices may be needed, and they, too, must be deployed. Again, more services to be delivered and charged for.
Finally, during the entire useful lifecycle of the service, support and management services will be required — all of which will be billable to the customer.
The following is a sample checklist of services that should be included with every cloud subscription sale. All of these are services your customers truly need and will definitely benefit from. By weaving these services together before, during and after the signing of the cloud subscription, you provide your customers with a truly robust, complete solution.
- Initial consultation
- Application inventory and evaluation
- Solution architecture and cloud service selection
- Information architecture/capacity planning
- Security planning with cloud integration design
- Application transition planning
- Environment transition planning
- User transition training
- Cloud service provisioning
- Email system migration
- Email archiving
- Data migration
- User deployment and rollout
- Day zero transition support
- User support program
- Network and cloud service Quality of Service (QoS) monitoring and management
- Capacity management
What if you don’t offer all of this?
It’s likely your company doesn’t yet provide all of these services. And that’s OK. By partnering with complementary companies, such as Insight, you can seamlessly provide them to your customers. You’ll still enjoy a healthy profit from the sale of outsourced services, and you’ll continue to keep your customers satisfied.
These services add significant, immediate revenue and profitability to your cloud subscription sales. Your team at Insight is here to answer any questions you may have to help you make the cloud your most profitable business.