As an MSP (Managed Services Provider) you’ve made your living taking care of your customers’ I.T. assets. If it’s a desktop, server, IP enabled security system or VOIP system, you’re probably changing lives by rocking their management. But the world, as they say, is ever changing.
More and more “smart” devices are coming online every day and it can be hard to keep up when you’re busy running your business. It’s not just nice of you to start helping your customers by introducing and managing new smart office technology. There are a host of benefits for everybody. Here are a few to ponder:
- New revenue streams. Selling new things to existing customers is easier and more cost effective than trying to sell what you already have to new customers. According to OutboundEngine, it is 5 times more expensive to sell to new customers compared to existing customers! Adding new services does take work on the front end, certainly, but the wallet share you can gain from existing customers will be well worth the effort.
- Savings. Office energy consumption can cost (or save) customers a huge amount of money. In the US in 2012, over $200 billion dollars was spent on things like heating, lighting, refrigeration, ventilation, cooling, computers, cooking. Commercial buildings use a mind-boggling amount of energy on a day-to-day basis and helping customers to shave off anything can be a huge win for managed services providers.
- Reduced downtime. When it comes to a bad day for an MSP, nothing quite hits the mark like unexpected downtime. We know this all too well when it comes to a mission critical server but we don’t think enough about the same for environmental control, lighting and other systems that keep workers warm, cool, and safe. Smart systems allow MSPs to take care of things when systems tell us that things might be amiss
Now that you’re thinking of more revenue for you, more cost savings opportunities and even more downtime reduction for your customers, what are some of the new things we could help to manage? Here are some of my favorites:
- HVAC/Environmental Control: I’ve been in many a boardroom meeting where the temperature starts off right, but ends up unbearably hot after 15 or 20 people invade the space. It no longer has to be this way. The new “smart” technologies in heating and cooling go far beyond Wi-Fi enabled thermostats. There are a host of thermal and occupancy sensors that can help your customers to do a better job of maintaining the perfect climate by adjusting for people. There are even companies making smart vents to better control temperature room by room. Earlier we talked about reducing downtime. Companies like Emerson and others have created proactive monitoring sensors to help customers to understand potential HVAC issues before they break. No need to break a sweat when so many smart options exist for environmental control!
- Lighting Control: Let there be light, or a lack of light, or just the right amount of light, based on smart monitoring and management of lighting systems. Lighting providers like Philips claim that customers can save up to 70% on their lighting costs by switching to a smart LED lighting system. Imagine a room that is kept dark until people come into it. Or lighting systems that tell you when bulbs need to be replaced before they burn out. Or how about automatic lighting adjustment based on available ambient light on a sunny day vs. a cloudy one. Helping customers to save money while improving their day-to-day experience sounds like a bright idea to me.
- Smart beverage management: If you’re like me, you start your day with a cup of coffee or flavored water. There is nothing worse than showing up to the office to realize that your drink of choice isn’t available because somebody forgot to order supplies or the equipment is broken. Companies like bevi are doing their best to make sure this never happens again. Their line of IoT beverage dispensers are monitored to ensure proactive supply and maintenance. Isn’t that refreshing? Perhaps you think that water and coffee aren’t in the realm of what you sell. Think again. Grand & Toy offers a full line of coffee services for their customers which they can supply just like they do copier paper and staples.
Those are just a few areas to start researching as you think about how to expand new as-a-service offerings for you and your customers. One thing we know for sure is that the more things you can manage for your customer, the more likely you are to keep their business. At Tigerpaw, we work with a large number of customers who are already making converged services a part of their business growth. We’d love to hear from you! What other smart services have you seen that aren’t in this article? Do you think that converged services is the future of managed services providers or just a distraction? We’d love to get your take, so please leave your comments or reach out to us to talk about!