How Office 365 and Azure insights will make your MSP thrive
Business growth is exciting. It takes courage, planning, and a lot of hard work to get there!
As a growing Managed Services Provider (“MSP”), you should always be on the search for new ways to provide value to your customers. The MSP playing field is becoming increasingly competitive, meaning you have to go the extra mile to retain your business. Providing actionable insights into cloud usage and costs is one way of creating value for your Microsoft customers.
As a provider of cloud services, you are the custodian of your client’s cloud. As your client base grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep an eye on Office 365 and Azure consumption for all of your customers. Microsoft have recently rolled out an improved Azure experience, providing more granular controls for partners. This will no doubt be useful when you’re managing a small client portfolio, after all… logging in and out of a few client accounts is not the end of the world. Yet for MSPs with multiple tenants and complex offerings, the base toolset may not be sufficient in helping you to uncover insights quickly.
Through the eyes of a Microsoft customer, insights into Office 365 and Azure services could be helping them to optimize costs and support growth by adopting unused services. As a Microsoft Partner, you should never lose sight of this.
Here are a few reasons why insights into Office 365 and Azure usage and costs are essential for your customers.
Enhanced Onboarding Process
Your insights can help shape how well you can serve your customers. Do you notice that your customers are ignoring essential features of Office 365 or Azure? Its possible that your business could have blind spots that create a lacklustre customer experience.
Trends in your customer usage can help you pinpoint weaknesses in your approach that could be easy to ignore. When users understand the various ways Office 365 and Azure can benefit them, they are more likely to stay loyal to both Microsoft and your business.
Understanding these weaknesses can help create an onboarding process that can set the base for a strong customer experience. It creates less frustration for your customers and less work for you down the road. You will less likely need to troubleshoot simple misunderstandings, which frees your time to concentrate on other parts of your business.
Although Microsoft does provide an SLA for Office 365, there are still multiple problems that can crop up which you may be dealing with as a MSP. When users are having these issues, they will turn to you for help. Getting insights such as license assignments or usage statistics can help your customers to troubleshoot problems quickly without your intervention.
Communication is essential for proper troubleshooting and maintaining customer relationships. With enhanced insights, you can address issues early before they spiral out of control. With a better understanding of cloud resources usage, you customers can gain a deeper understanding into what’s not working and solve it quickly.
All of this translates into a better customer experience = better customer retention.
Increased User Engagement
Successful MSPs know that strong client relationships are foundational to their business. They are not afraid to strike up a conversation by reaching out to clients through calls and emails.
Gaining insights into your client’s usage can help create productive conversations and increase user engagement in Microsoft products. In order to increase user engagement, you need to understand what is important to them.
For example, perhaps your customer wants to stimulate internal collaboration on documents yet isn’t fully adopting Office 365 and the online apps. Having this discussion could lead to a positive conversation and opportunity to engage with your customers.
The top MSPs know that their success is dependent on how successful their customers are. With insights into their usage, they can tailor their services to help meet their customer’s needs and increase engagement.
Build credibility through transparency
As a provider of Microsoft Cloud services, you have a duty of care for your customers. Therefore, you also need to know where their usage suffers. For example, if your customer’s Azure resources are being over-provisioned, this insight could help them save money. If peak office hours are 9-5, why not automate a VM sizing reduction or de-allocation to reflect this. Provide this knowledge to your customers before they ask of it. Honesty and transparency are hallmarks of a healthy and longstanding Partner-Client relationship. Conversely, leaving it too late may reflect negatively on your MSP business.
Differentiate through Better Insights
The Microsoft Partner landscape is competitive. With the low barrier for entry to resell Office 365, there are plenty of MSPs for customers to choose from. That is why 89% of businesses will compete mostly on customer experience. To get ahead of this competition, differentiation is crucial.
MSPs can offer unique features based on their customer needs. Insights into their usage can help you create a more personalized experience for them. Whether growth, productivity, profits, or more, each client has a different goal when approaching Office 365 and Azure. Usage insights can help you tailor their services to help them meet these goals.
Personalization is an incredible point of differentiation for CSPs. With the rise of data, many customers have come to appreciate an experience that fits their needs. By fulfilling this experience, you can maintain a strong customer base and grow even further.
Strengthen Customer Loyalty
With better user engagement, troubleshooting, and personalization, you can retain more customers. Churn is a particular problem for MSPs: one study found that for every four customers gained each month, three are lost.
High churn rates signify customer dissatisfaction and acquiring new customers can be a costly exercise in a crowded market. It is far more profitable to retain current customers, so any way that you can increase loyalty will translate to a more lucrative business.
With insights into usage, you can create a business that supports your client’s goals. An increase in support and engagement can help you avoid undesirable churn rates for your business. Be the trusted advisor that your partners expect and secure your business for years to come.
Deliver better Office 365 insights for a profitable business
Hunting for game-changing insight can be time-consuming. The new Azure experience provides powerful tools for partners to explore costs and self-diagnose problems. Yet, constant switching and logging into Partner Center and Azure can take a significant drain on time that could be used for more productive work tasks.
Spinpanel creates a solution for stronger businesses. Through a unified view of all of your partners Office 365 and Azure resource data, MSPs benefit from enhanced and fast insights into usage and consumption, enabling productive conversations and savings for customers.
Business growth is exciting. However, if you’re not equipped with additional insights, your growth is limited. Schedule a demo today to see how we can help you grow your Microsoft Cloud business!