By Adam Simpson
As smartphone and phablet devices become ever more powerful, the business world is evolving beyond the paradigm of Bring Your Own Device. Tomorrows technology-focused companies will orient themselves toward a model that might be better described as Join Our Cloud,” a holistic approach that focuses primarily on application, network and content environments that drive and enable a truly connected workforce. This paradigm shift presents some important changes and exciting opportunities for managed service providers.
Mobile Usability and Scalability
Mobile usability and scalability will become an integral part of any cloud software deployment decision. MSPs must ensure they are well-versed in the idiosyncrasies of the major mobile platforms, and conduct extensive testing of any new cloud applications using various devices (or an accurate smartphone/phablet emulator) prior to live deployment. Many cloud-based solutions, such as SalesForces CRM, offer a test drive” or free tour to aid in this step.
Post-Sale Support Channels
Its also important to understand post-sale support channels. If, or when, there is an issue with a third-party cloud application, clients will almost inevitably call you first rather than the application provider. Be sure youre familiar with how to quickly access support staff and systems, and know the standard support hours and expected response times.
New Revenue Channels
With the new landscape and its challenges, however, will come a host of revenue opportunities for MSPs. Your clients will standardize their employees user experiences and present a company application environment that is secure, responsive, intuitive and consistent, regardless of hardware. The possibilities for new revenue channels based on solution sales are numerous. Clients will be turning to you to integrate (or develop) responsive solutions for CRM, data backup, Web hosting, monitoring, accounting, file sharing, hosted PBX phone service and much more all accessible from anywhere, at any time, on any device.
As our work and home lives become more closely entwined, additional business opportunities could arise for MSPs. Seamless integration with their companys cloud services will also mean that end users may seek your assistance in ensuring that their personal cloud” remains distinct and secure.
Adam Simpson is the CEO and co-founder of Easy Office Phone where he oversees the creation of new sales channels including a North American Dealer Program, plays a leading role in software development, manages the companys network infrastructure and builds dedicated teams of sales, support and engineering staff. Under Simpsons leadership, Easy Office Phone has grown rapidly and steadily into a highly respected provider of hosted PBX service to clients throughout Canada and North America since its launch in 2005.