How to Fix Your Inefficient Partner Business



The advent of cloud technology has brought about countless benefits, but also means a bit of a juggling act for managed service providers (MSPs) who must step up their service game without hiring more folks to keep the balls in the air.

In this era of business transformation, it is critical to run your operation as efficiently as possible to turn revenue into profit. Enter automated tools. From technical applications such as remote monitoring and management (RMM) and professional service automation (PSA) to line-of-business applications such as customer resource management and customer portals, automation has the potential to help MSPs run their businesses more efficiently.

But are MSPs using these tools? Are they doing all they can to streamline operations?

According to findings from CompTIA’s recent research, Operational Efficiency in the Channel, just two in 10 respondents assessed their current state of operations as very efficient. Not great when you consider all of the emerging technologies and tools out there.

So why don’t partners have faith in their own efficiency? We sat down with CompTIA senior director of industry analysis Carolyn April, who authored the report, to get her insights on the matter. At Channel Partners Evolution, Oct. 9-12, in Philadelphia, April will speak to conference attendees about the importance of staying as lean as possible in her session “Running a Tight Ship: The Impact of Operational Efficiency on Profits.” It’s Wednesday, Oct. 11, part of the business strategy track sponsored by Cyxtera.  

Channel Partners: Tell us about the CompTIA study that will serve as the backbone of your talk at Channel Partners Evolution.

CompTIA's Carolyn April

CompTIA’s Carolyn April

Carolyn April: We did a primary research report on operational efficiency. It was over 100 channel firms, and we asked them all kinds of questions about their business and how they’re transforming it, how that process is going. [We] asked them to rate themselves on how efficient they think they’re running their business, what areas that they can improve. The big takeaway, I think, from this particular study, is that you can have the greatest sales staff. They’re killing it out there, and they’re bringing in money hand over fist, but if you are leaking all kinds of margin due to internal inefficiencies, you’re not going to see the full reward of all that great work that your sales reps are doing.

CP: No offense, but this isn’t the type of flash we typically hear about at channel conferences. Where are the snazzy features? The bells and whistles and promises of never-ending glory?

CA: It sounds very wonky, right? But it’s extremely important to your bottom line. A lot of the times you’re talking about ironing out a particular process for on-boarding a new customer or on-boarding a new employee, or what your supply chain would look like. All stuff that’s sitting around a conference table and just banging that stuff out and then making sure you have …

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