Supercharge your CSP
Stumbled upon a few roadblocks recently? With the cloud services industry evolving to become more competitive, it’s a no brainer many service providers want to stand out in a crowd and offer new, exciting services. But when doing so, have any cracks started to show?
Many issues rise from trying to juggle the basics. In our recent MSP Insights report, 56% agree they spend too long on manual tasks, and 81% claim processes are not yet fully automated. Maybe you have noticed your service desk team getting backed up? Or everyday tasks slipping by the wayside?
This is normal when at a natural growth transition point. But with cloud migration complexity increasing with customer demand, it might be time to shake things up, supercharge your CSP, and squash the more common hurdles. Do any of these sound familiar?
Lacking supportive tools
Have you noticed the ever-changing Microsoft world can lead to increasing manual challenges? Some of these may include:
1. Frequently changing license subscriptions
Customer demands and tenant growth can lead to time consuming, day-to-day management tasks like:
- Purchasing and provisioning licenses
- Trueing up (reconciling) license quantities
- Upgrading customer licenses
After learning that 62% of MSPs spend too long on license consolidation1, it’s clear the above points are all regular CSP subscription hurdles.
Being time-poor or not having the right tools can lead to licenses being mismanaged, or other tickets unfacilitated. This can start a snowball effect for other CSP challenges, including customers exploring more responsive competitors with advanced services.
2. Pricing solutions
Monthly distributor invoices provide glaringly obvious challenges for CSPs…an absence of detail.
Without summarised invoices, how do you know what to technically charge which customer? Pricing solutions are tricky for CSPs and can be a big reason business doesn’t accelerate at the rate it should.
Without being able to offer custom CSP pricing solutions:
- Product catalogues cannot be defined
- Custom services can’t be sold
- Bespoke SKU prices can’t be set
- Profitability can’t be controlled
Without the right CSP pricing tools, the manual hours needed to trawl through Microsoft Partner Center and Azure data can be overwhelming. The result? Microsoft 365 and Azure Plan invoice clarity being restricted.
3. Missed billing opportunities
With the above in mind, lack of transparency over distributor invoices can also be a struggle for indirect resellers at billing time.
The reconciliation of licensing, lack of integration and analyzing multiple CSP reports can get repetitive and long. 62% of MSPs told us they spend too many hours creating customer invoices1. Understanding customer Azure usage and Microsoft subscriptions can take time that you may not have in your everyday, leading to customer invoices not being as accurate as they should.
4. Granular reporting
Clients need real-time numbers to understand where their money is going. Analytics needed are:
- Microsoft subscription numbers and license types
- Azure CSP consumption
- What servers and resources are being used
- What is causing a spike in monthly spend
CSP indirect resellers often find it a struggle to create focused reports, when receiving monthly invoices that lack detail. It’s a time-consuming excel nightmare to manually mine customer data every month. Especially when basic CSP reporting functionalities only scratch the surface of the data that should be available.
Growing cloud complexities
2020 saw a dramatic shift in cloud adoption and complexity. Did you experience an increase in customers needing to migrate to Azure cloud services, and quickly?
Although a great achievement, many CSPs have found the demand overwhelming, with processes and services slipping. Teething problems from rapid acceleration have seen 71% of organizations reporting “negative effects due to the rate of cloud transformation”2. These fall down to:
- Operational issues
- Bad cloud migrations
- Data governance issues
- Unrealized business outcomes
- Higher than expected cloud costs
There are many challenges when quickly and efficiently refining cloud deployments or creating new CSP offerings. Especially if using the wrong tools to manage overwhelming demand. But unsuccessful migration can leave a lasting memory in a customer’s mind.
Microsoft have also implemented new partner requirements to become part of the Cloud Solutions Provider program. These could be challenging to some CSPs, halting Microsoft Partner progression.
Cybersecurity is key
CSP businesses might have only touched the security surface. But it’s time for that to change and become more sophisticated. The security discussion between CSPs and customers should be at the forefront of conversation, making sure measures are in tip-top shape and customer data isn’t compromised. If security services are lacking, it can restrict the opportunity to your CSP business expansion.
An increasing customer portfolio can create natural challenges to a business. With an overwhelming amount of smart automation tools to choose from, it can be a struggle to find the right one to help replace, or at least reduce, human error.
But to supercharge your CSP business, it’s important to find a tool that facilitates all business needs and organic growth.
Supercharge your CSP
It is time to nail those fundamental processes!
Take a step back, assess the tools and resources being used, and look at the bigger picture. By supercharging your CSP, perfecting processes, applying a few tweaks here and there, you’re taking control to successfully squash challenges, and grow your CSP business.
Curious to learn more around boosting productivity and saving time for your Microsoft Partner business? Download the report today.
1. Spinpanel: MSP Insights 2021 Report
2. Aptum Technologies