The managed services industry is in a continuous state of flux. One of the mega-trends from the past decade has been the rise of “Master MSPs.” A Master MSP provides outsourced services to other MSPs on a “wholesale” basis – delivering essential back-office services and support – often delivered under a retail MSP’s brand name and identity.
Master MSPs have been a big growth story since they solve one of the biggest challenges MSPs face: staffing. Recruiting, training, and retaining technical staff is one of the thorniest issues for MSPs today. Technical talent is always in short supply and wage inflation was only exacerbated by the labor market disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the labor market challenges are even greater for MSPs throughout the globe, especially in traditionally higher wage markets such as the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Over the past two decades, the largest global enterprises have turned offshore to tap into a global workforce and control labor costs. Now, smaller MSPs can ride this same wave by partnering with Master MSPs to staff and manage technical talent from all over the globe.
The Master MSP trend shows no signs of slowing down. ConnectWise, one of the largest MSP software platforms, acquired Continuum in 2019 to beef up their Master MSP service offerings. Other Master MSPs such as IT By Design and Collabrance continue to grow at break-neck speed.
Here are five reasons to consider partnering with a Master MSP in 2022.
1. Scale Operations Without Additional Headcount
A Master MSP enables an MSP to grow without adding more direct headcount and payroll. MSPs leaders are often in a constant struggle to balance growth with capacity. When new logo acquisitions accelerate, client onboardings, special projects, and tickets can quickly overwhelm the capacity of a growing MSP and cause service quality to suffer.
The traditional solution of pivoting into hiring mode only goes so far. Unfortunately, with technical talent in short supply and wages rising, most MSPs can’t keep up with their growth plans through hiring alone. This is where a Master MSP comes in. A Master MSP augments the MSP’s staff and often leverages offshore talent to perform non-client facing tasks, such as server monitoring and maintenance, backup management and testing, cloud monitoring, and various forms of technical remediation. Part of the promise of managed services is the proactive repair and remediation of technical issues, hopefully before the client ever notices or is impacted. Working with a Master MSP delivers essential labor and services, usually at a cost that is substantially lower than adding new staff on payroll.
2. Around-the-Clock Support
Delivering 24/7/365-degree support is a costly and complicated endeavor. MSPs leveraging a Master MSP get access to around-the-clock support. MSPs can charge a premium to clients that require “after hours” support and meet their service commitments with the global staffing models of Master MSPs. As companies of all sizes continue to staff more and more employees from home offices, providing technical support at all hours becomes that much more important. Master MSPs help local MSPs meet this challenge with global coverage at a price they can afford.
3. Add Cutting-Edge Services
Unfortunately, MSPs and their clients are caught in an arms race with cybercriminals. Every day, hackers and other bad actors continue to discover new ways to attack and exploit companies. Ransomware attacks and mass data breaches reached new heights during the COVID-19 pandemic, as companies struggled with the rush to remote work and other operational distractions. This plague of cybercrime impacted companies both big and small.
MSPs need to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals by investing in cutting-edge cyber security technologies and services. Master MSPs help frontline MSPs add critical new cybersecurity capabilities quickly and affordably. For instance, MSPs are investing in tools such as Managed Detection and Response (MDR), security information and event management (SIEM), and next-generation AV and endpoint detection and response solutions to combat the latest cybersecurity threats. All these solutions require technology plus human-powered services delivered from Security Operations Centers (SOCs). Master MSP SOC services give even the smallest MSP access to the talent, expertise, and responsiveness they need to defend their clients in today’s threat ecosystem.
4. Better Manage Technology Vendors
Managing technology vendors is complex and time-consuming. Master MSPs help frontline MSPs in this area as well. MSPs can increase profit margins and reduce complexity by driving technology standards across their client base. Operationally mature MSPs standardize their tech stack and continuously evolve their client environments for maximum compliance with their preferred standards. Technology standards simplify deployment, decrease complexity and training costs, and ultimately reduce tickets and labor cycles. Master MSPs help by leading the way with technology standardization and further simplifying life for frontline MSPs. The Master MSP takes on the time-consuming interactions with primary technology vendors to manage software release schedules and product roadmaps. Innovation is non-stop and can be a distraction if not managed proactively. Master MSPs relieve frontline MSPs of this R&D and vendor management challenge.
5. Focus on Customer Service and Sales
Lastly, Master MSPs help frontline MSPs focus on customer service and sales. By relieving hiring pressures, augmenting staff, and offloading time-consuming back-office tasks, Master MSPs help frontline MSPs to spend more time providing high-quality customer service, consulting and advice. At the end of the day, the client doesn’t care how they receive excellent customer service and support – they just need it reliably delivered and at a price they can afford. Master MSPs enable frontline MSPs to focus on strategic technology advice and CIO services, which are of higher value to the client and help organizations better leverage technology for business results. With better service and client satisfaction, MSPs can win more than their fair share of referrals, resulting in additional sales growth. This virtuous cycle is powered by marrying the capabilities of a Master MSP with the focus and service quality of frontline MSPs.
Dropsuite is passionate about MSP success. We are always looking for ways to help MSPs thrive and grow. We look forward to exploring how we can help you with your journey.