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Office 365 MSPs: Top Tips for Success

30 Jun 2017 by Emma Robinson

With an increasing amount of businesses moving to Office 365, it’s no surprise that IT solution providers and MSPs see lucrative opportunities there. But with so many vendors touting the same product in the same market how can MSPs and IT solution providers make sure their business thrives and expands? Here’s a hint: it’s not just about Office 365.
Microsoft is already recognised as the provider of staple software products (Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc.) that are core to any business, but Office 365 has gone above and beyond. By giving users intelligent, and highly integrated collaboration tools like Office 365 Groups, Planner, and OneDrive to name a few, the Office 365 cloud model is Microsoft’s fastest ever growing business. The benefits of Office 365 are clear, but ask yourself this: If you were thinking of moving to Office 365 and choosing a managed service option, what would make you pick one vendor over another? The products are identical, so why not just go with the first vendor you encounter, or perhaps the cheapest option? The answer: value-added service that differentiates your offering, and gives your customers what they need. If you want to make yourself standout amongst the crowd, consider these tips:

  1. Offer Special Services

Even though Office 365 has its own protective measures, there’s no such thing as being too secure. It’s worth offering your own security and backup solutions, and even better tailoring them to specific needs. Each customer has different security concerns, and the strategy and expertise that you can provide as an MSP is highly valuable in this area. Another service that could be offered is Office 365 backup. While Office 365 includes built-in Data Loss Prevention features, and an ever-improving toolset in the Security and Compliance Center, there’s still ample opportunity to find potential gaps, and create extra services to further enhance your customer’s security strategy.

  1. Offer Premium Customer Support

There isn’t a single industry that can survive in the public eye without good customer support. Despite the convenience of automation, when it comes to customer interaction there needs to be a human touch. Nobody enjoys talking to a virtual assistant when something goes wrong (and things can go wrong at any time). You need to be constantly available and present, even 24/7 if possible.

  1. Offer Education and Training

Moving to Office 365 is a large and difficult task for enterprises, and not everyone will be instantly comfortable with their new environment. In this instance, offering specialised training for an IT team or end-users can be a huge help, and this kind of offer could eventually evolve into an excellent business relationship. Thankfully, Microsoft is happy to help in this area.

  1. Become a Consultant

Beyond training, education, and troubleshooting, becoming an Office 365 cloud consultant means developing further expertise and reliability. As a consultant, you can use your knowledge of the Office 365 ecosystem to become a valuable, and strategic advisor to your customer. Through Microsoft’s Cloud Solutions Provider Program, you can receive additional benefits but continue to own your customer relationships end to end: from solutions, to support, and billing.
Ensuring that your business thrives within the Office 365 partner landscape means looking beyond offering the basics. By building your value-added services and bringing them into the market to enhance customer experience in Office 365, you become more attractive in the face of tough competition. It’s always wise to remember that the needs of your customers are ever evolving; your ability to adapt and anticipate will define your success.
Cogmotive is the leading global provider of enterprise level reporting and analytics applications for Office 365. Find out more now.