Solving key CSP challenges
Growth and comfort do not coexist.
Over the years the Spinpanel team has worked with and for, many managed service providers and Microsoft partners. By regularly chatting to our customers, it quickly came to our attention that as businesses grow and the Microsoft eco-system changes, there are many challenges thrown into the mix. This can be unsettling for many, especially when companies invest in teams and processes to try and help their MSP business grow.
So, let’s have a look at some of the more common issues we have heard. Maybe they sound familiar to you?
1) Managing CSP subscription demands across many customers.
Delivering seamless client experiences isn’t a walk in the park. Customer demands and tenant growth can lead to a to-do list as long as your arm. Day-to-day tasks such as assessing existing license quantities, examining subscription growth and identifying improvements and over-provisioned licenses, are time consuming, and regularly take the focus away from other important areas. Take Scoria Tech for example:
“Our clients were logging multiple tickets requesting to manage their own Microsoft license provisioning.”
They found their team were struggling to keep up with the demand and wanted to know how to effectively manage a high number of support tickets, eliminate human error and control the lag time between customer requests and license delivery?
“We needed to automate certain processes to support the day-to-day work demand.” Explained Craig Laffer, Founder & Technical Director of Scoria Tech.
2) Reconciliation of unallocated licenses across your customers
We’ve seen the numbers. According to studies, 56% of organization’s Microsoft 365 licenses are mismanaged, and 27% of E5 licenses are unassigned. Customers need to be able to trust that their MSP is managing and processing their licenses properly – which through no fault of any MSP, can be a challenge keep up with.
Jumping back to Scoria Tech, their in-house team saw Spinpanel as a huge time saving opportunity, as they could say goodbye to traditional support tickets piling up. The platform has also given them the option to ‘hand back’ customer’s unused licenses overnight, and save their clients money in their sleep. A win-win for everyone.
Curious? Before we give you the answers, another common challenge we want to address is how to…
3) Enable customers to purchase new cloud solutions and services.
Like many of the other challenges, monotonous, time-consuming tasks can restrict business growth. Many CSPs need support to hand the ‘management baton’ over to their clients, allowing them to make their own decisions, and purchase custom services relevant to their business, for example back-up or 3rd party software.
Many struggle to do this, as they don’t have the tools available to facilitate their customers with options like this.
4) How can you provide detailed cost and usage reports for Azure and M365?
“Spinpanel’s PowerBI-based reporting add-on provides a great and easy-to-understand overview for us and our customers including reporting and license management in one interface. This is exactly what we were looking for, because we wanted to hand over the license management to our customers and the users, and no longer order every single license on behalf of the customer by hand via their Partner Center account.” Enrico Goldhahn, Product Manager, Nexellent AG
It’s time consuming work to manually mine customer data every month, and we find MSP’s clients are after real-time information to show them what servers and resources contribute to the majority of their Azure consumption. Also, where the spikes of their monthly spend lie.
Customer demand can be overwhelming, and basic reporting functionalities will only scratch the surface of the data that can be unravelled. We have found our Microsoft partners want to be able to further educate clients on how to manage consumption accordingly.
Which leads us to our final point…
5) The arduous task of creating monthly invoices – often by hand.
Looking to take away the burdensome responsibility of administrative tasks, such as billing? We thought as much. Analyzing multiple reports to understand customer consumption and usage doesn’t need to be strenuous. But we know it can be.
Transferring data across into invoicing systems and simplifying Azure cost details, can be done easily with the right tools – which our friends at iv4 have discovered…
“We had a team member focusing on the reconciliation of licensing on a monthly basis, between the Microsoft portal and our contracts in Autotask. It would take the better part of a day for this team member to process one client’s tenant number in our CSP. It was a thankless job, that no one enjoyed doing. But now, with the support of the Spinpanel-Autotask billing connector, we are saving at a very minimum of 8+ hours a month.” Jeanne Morelli, COO at iv4.
What can be done to solve your CSP challenges?
We’re sure you’ve all experienced these challenges in some form. Spinpanel was born to streamline MSP processes and help companies grow and scale their business. So while growth and comfort do not coexist, we like to think Spinpanel can give you a helping hand, (and a little bit of comfort,) to solve some of the more common challenges and help you thrive.
Join us at our next webinar, where we’ll show you practical ways to address these five challenges, via the use of Spinpanel’s Microsoft Cloud enablement toolset.
3rd March 2021 – 11am CET
Don’t forget to come prepared with your questions for our Q&A at the end!