What makes a product the perfect fit for managed service providers?
This is a question that our team at usecure had to think deeply about when we made the decision to build a product that could win the hearts and minds of IT service providers.
We decided to do some digging into what makes MSPs get excited about a vendor — then we transformed usecure to be the vendor of choice in the Human Risk Management (HRM) space.
What do MSPs look for in a product?
After doing some research, chatting with a number of our partners and engaging with MSP forums, we found some key components that IT service providers look for in a software vendor:
- Flexible billing — Licenses should be billed monthly based on actual consumption, rather than wasting money on unused seats. Taking an annual licensing model and chopping it into 12 doesn’t work.
- Integrations — Integration(s) out the box is a key factor for helping MSPs eliminate onboarding pains and effectively manage a product moving forward.
- Support is huge — Slow support, unhelpful answers and lengthy SLAs cost MSPs time and money. Support processes need to be easy, helpful, fast and focused on resolutions - not just responses.
- Simplicity is key — Deployment, admin and lifecycle have to be kept quick and simple for managed service providers.
- A multi-tenant admin portal is a must — A multi-tenant admin platform is vital for easily managing multiple logins/clients.
- Licensing needs to be simple — Complex licensing models can be painful to understand and can ultimately confuse or slow down the sales cycle.
- Commitments should be minimal — MSPs should be able to play with a new toy before they invest serious time and money. Offering a free not-for-resale (NFR) license with zero commitments is ideal.
- Purchasing licenses should be cost-effective — Making it mandatory for MSPs to purchase bundles of licenses can result in wasted seats and wasted money if they end up not being used. MSPs should be able to purchase the exact number of licenses they need, when they need them.
These points may sound obvious, but the market is full of vendors who “want” to enter the MSP market but don’t want to sacrifice their annual license model, as this means the commitment is not as long.
But how is that fair?
Some products just aren't 'MSP-friendly'
For most MSPs who bill against per employee or desktop at their client site, if they sign up for 12 months and then their client goes out of business (happened a lot in the last 12 months), then the MSP is stuck with the delta of the bill.
This is a similar principle for bundles of users as, last time I checked, businesses don’t employ staff in exact bundles…
Also, having complexity can be good for the vendor, but for the MSP who has X customers with X employees using X software across X sites, complexity is just well… complex, and that means time-consuming — which also means a pain in the ass.
So, what did usecure do?
Knowing what we knew, we decided that the points above were going to be the hurdles we would come across. They would also present us with the weak points in our competition and the ability to be the vendor of choice in this space, so here is what we did:
- Licensing - Monthly billing on a per user per month model (pupm)
- No minimum order
- No minimum term
- Real-time support - We manage support and refine our process to deliver an average response time under 30 seconds
- We only sell one whitelabelled product, under one SKU
- Built the platform on an API driven, multi-tenant platform - great for integration.
- Free NFR - We provided a free not-for-resale (NFR) license for the lifetime of the agreement
- Automated tooling for ease of ongoing management.
These points above have meant that we can provide a simple and easy to use platform, with a licensing model which scales alongside our partners — both up and down, which is fair.
Now, by no means is this list exhaustive.
Growing with our partners
We have a lot of work to do to continue the work to make the usecure platform even better for our partners, but for sure these represent some of the gotchas and no doubt eye-rolling reactions some vendors get when trying to pitch their MSP play.
Learn why usecure is the perfect fit for MSPs
Transform employees into the strongest line of defence with usecure, the automated human risk management solution for MSPs, that analyses, reduces and monitors employee cyber risk, through:
- Automated security awareness training
- Automated simulated phishing campaigns
- Simplified policy management
- Ongoing dark web breach monitoring
- Continuous human risk reporting
Watch a quick demo of the usecure platform and grab your free lifetime NFR, exclusive for managed service providers (MSPs)