IT services providers go through a lot to support their clients properly. From handling late-night and early morning service calls and pushing out never-ending updates to tailoring a litany of solutions to meet the needs of each end-user, the responsibilities never end. That list of obligations can grow quickly as MSPs build out their portfolios of services, hire more employees, and take on more clients. Each of those processes can create more headaches for IT business owners.
MSPs must balance clients’ ever-changing business needs with a finite number of resources. It can take months (if not longer) to hire and train personnel for new specializations or to expand your solution portfolio. Constructing and executing expansion plans brings even more potential headaches, from figuring out how to finance growth to stick-handling all the various details. There are more potential problems that IT services business owners, and their team members need to manage to grow and succeed.
If properly constructed, an MSP’s solution stack can alleviate some of those headaches. Working with channel-focused vendors that understand the challenges of supporting many different types of businesses is critical, as are partner management consoles and industry-specific integrations. Today, MSPs need the ability to automate as many of their business processes as possible, from client-side alerts and ticket creation to software updates and billing. Eliminating manual steps and potential failure points helps reduce management-related headaches.
Communication systems are a perfect example. Managing email and phone services for small businesses can be a challenge for an IT team in the most ideal of situations, but with the growing adoption of Work from Home (WFH) and hybrid office movement, those issues can multiply. Keeping each vital connection operational while simultaneously managing all the back-end processes can be a nightmare without solutions designed specifically for the SMB and MSPs. Here are three of the major pain points every IT services provider should assess before partnering with communications vendors.
Headache 1: Lack of System Control/ Management Silos
Imagine the complexities involved in supporting a variety of different voice communications platforms for your clients? Learning the quirks and service requirements would be a major headache for technicians and frustrate workers waiting for a fast resolution. Like email problems, phone issues tend to enrage end-users, ultimately aggravating the technicians who have to deal with those people.
Managing the charges, taxes, and other billing-related concerns can be just as frustrating. An MSP-centric UC platform can minimize all those types of headaches. These solutions also remove the data silos, simplify reporting and, when properly configured and integrated with CRMs, PSAs and other management applications can streamline various processes. Those connections allow MSPs and their clients to improve productivity, reduce payroll, and increase customer satisfaction.
Those platforms also allow providers to easily add or subtract services based on client demand. Unlike traditional phone systems, there’s no need to purchase new equipment or invest a lot of time getting technicians acclimated to the solution, and that’s a win-win for everyone. Similarly, with a system like the ConnectMeVoice by Cloudli Clarity platform, MSPs gain the flexibility to manage and move extensions and add or remove features. These applications help boost customer satisfaction, renewals and long-term revenue projections.
Headache 2: Lack of Support Options
The essential nature of communications systems means MSPs must be confident in their ability to quickly and effectively resolve related problems. Can your team swiftly diagnose end-users’ issues, restore service, and answer questions themselves? Or could they triage those issues and let a vendor partner or third-party provider do the heavy lifting?
Most MSPs would benefit from having a bench of UCaaS technicians answering the phones without having to hire, train and maintain that staff. Partnering with a company like ConnectMeVoice by Cloudli makes that possible and profitable.
Our team can handle those communications support headaches and frees your technicians and engineers to sell and service even more high-margin solutions.
Headache 3: Taxes, Fees and Other Billing-Related Activities
No one likes dealing with complex formulas and bureaucratic red tape. Most business owners don’t get excited about spending their limited time and brainpower on activities better left to accountants. MSPs certainly have much better things to do, like meeting prospects, closing deals and developing new practices and solutions.
That is precisely why some IT services firms avoid technology offerings that require them to collect and pay taxes and fees for their clients, especially those with variable rates or complex formulas. Phone-related services are a perfect example. Few companies want to be responsible for processes that could result in significant penalties and liabilities if not done correctly
For example, a New York City-based company could be subject to a long list of taxes and fees, including:
- State Sales Tax
- Local Gross Receipts Tax
- County Sales Tax
- Surcharge on Excise Tax
- Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District Sale Tax
- Federal Universal Service Fund
- State Excise Tax
- Federal Telecommunications Relay Services Fund (TRS)
- FCC Cost Recovery Fee
- 911 Surcharge
- CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) Compliance Fee
- Emergency 911 Cost Recovery
- Regulatory Recovery Fee
That’s why many MSPs avoid the headaches and partner with a reputable UCaaS provider. No IT business owner should spend precious time calculating the right payment for each client and forward payments to the appropriate local, state and federal agencies. Unless you have a team member passionate about those financial processes, do you really need the headaches?
ConnectMeVoice by Cloudli helps its partners avoid those problems without compromising other benefits such as pricing and branding control, robust margins, and simplicity. Other VoIP suppliers make MSPs give up one or more of those key channel advantages. Why settle for less?