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Old 05-21-2012, 11:49 PM
Chadhardy Chadhardy is offline
 
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Default First Post - Remote Monitoring/Management

It's my first official post here on Technibble, and I'm hoping to get some great feedback on my question.

Real quick... I've been self-employed for 14 years (computer repair and web design), but I'm just now looking into different pricing methods. Most of my clients only call when there is a problem, very seldom for preventative maintenance. This may cause a problem since I've kind of trained them this way. Most of the customers I've got in mind for this new pricing have been customers for many years, and it may be hard to get them to think differently.

I'm looking at offering two new options for paying for my services:

Remote Monitoring with Discounted Labor Rates:
$30 per workstation
$50 per server
$85 per hour of labor (normally billed at $105 per hour)

Remote Monitoring with Unlimited Normal Office Hour Labor
$50 per workstation
$80 per server
Labor Rates - 8am - 5pm = $0 per hour
Labor Rates - After 5pm and weekends = $50 per hour

My customers are on the small side (4 - 15 workstations) and their servers are basically file servers (no Exchange). These new price options may not make sense to them because they only call when there is a problem, but I could possibly sell a few customers on the preventative maintenance angle.

So what are your thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 05-22-2012, 12:40 AM
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Parkwaytech Parkwaytech is offline
 
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I don't sell on monitoring except for a few special circumstances. You need to ultimately sell on value, and monitoring just doesn't provide that much. Here are some benefits of managed services:
  • Set monthly bill (always include some labor)
  • Fewer headaches
  • Bundle that includes all the services they need

I've found that bundling is key. We include antivirus, SPAM filtering, etc. in most of our agreements. This allows us to offer great value for a fixed cost and is something a client can sink their teeth into. To be honest, your lower tier doesn't really provide that much value. I just don't see that much value in monitoring and a slight discount on labor, and I doubt your clients will either. Your other tier seems to be good though. I would double the server rate though. $80 with labor included is way too low, even for just file servers.

One final note. A good rule of thumb is to always provide more value than you are comfortable with. Not a lot more, but a little more. Also be sure to search the forum for more info on selling this to your clients.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:10 AM
MFHull MFHull is offline
 
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And get more posts in! I've been skulking around these forums for a bit just reading, and finally decided to join in. Now I'm trying to get my posts up so I can access the closed sections- I understand there's a MSP section I'm dying to get to!

I have to say at first the concept irritated me. But after thinking about it, I agree that its a good policy, and it does encourage getting more people engaged and thats always a good thing.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:05 AM
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Server is less than 1/2 of what average server monthly monitoring costs average.
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:38 PM
Chadhardy Chadhardy is offline
 
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Regarding the MSP offering do you offer only labor for that cost per machine or does that include all parts as well? I've seen someone mention in their post that motherboards aren't included?

I've always thought that it was only labor, but if it does include parts I can see how the costs are justified now.

Thanks
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:42 AM
Pclink Pclink is offline
 
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Default MSP Pricing

If it's just monitoring only than that's expensive (even with discount on labor). Are you using any software service that does monitoring for your customers? N-Able and Continuum are two that I can think of that lets you monitor desktops/servers, plus you can do preventative maintenance with them.

You may want to consider offering Antivirus with the monitor only plan, both N-Able and Continuum offer Antivirus solutions with their software. I also wouldn't include hardware, that can get expensive, especially for servers. One RAID card could cost $1000.

One very valuable service to offer is a full image backup solution, on top of the monthly maintenance package. One it really helps you out if a system fails, as it's easier to restore from an local image vs an online backup like Carbonite, which could leave their systems down for days. StorageCraft is my recommended flavor of choice. For MSP's they offer you the option to sell their full solutions at monthly fee's.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:50 AM
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We don't include any hardware. No point in it. In over four years, I have only had to replace a couple of power supplies and hard drives for our managed services clients. Plus you can run into situations where you need a costly proprietary part for a particular machine.

Servers have quite a bit to manage and keep running, so that is where stonecat is getting his numbers from. $80 per server with full management and labor included is way too low. Because servers are complex and the lifeblood of any business they command a higher price than desktops. I'd charge at least $175/server and $300/Exchange server.
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:30 AM
Chadhardy Chadhardy is offline
 
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So what I'm hearing is don't offer option #1 with monitoring and discounted labor rates, but focus more on option #2 with some changes... here are the changes...

Remote Monitoring with Unlimited Normal Office Hour Labor
$50 per workstation
$175 per server
Labor Rates - 8am - 5pm = $0 per hour
Labor Rates - After 5pm and weekends = $50 per hour

This options includes:
  • Remote Monitoring
  • Unlimited Labor during normal business hours
  • Managed Anti-Virus
  • Backup of Personal Info (Docs, Pics, Emails)

Is that looking better?
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:49 AM
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Looks great to me. Others might have some adjustments, but those numbers seem reasonable and sustainable to me.
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:56 AM
Chadhardy Chadhardy is offline
 
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OK, let me throw a new idea to the mix... block hours.

Should I offer a Managed Service option as well as a Block Hours option?

Here's what I'm thinking:

Block Hours Model

Purchase 3 hours = $270
(Equates to $90 per hour - $45 savings)
After hours exhausted normal hourly rate applies

Purchase 6 hours = $450
(Equates to $75 per hour - $180 savings)
After hours exhausted normal hourly rate applies

Purchase 10 hours = $600
(Equates to $60 per hour - $450 savings)
After hours exhausted normal hourly rate applies
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