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The Seven Essential Steps to Becoming the Best MSP in the North East

What it Takes to Be a Top North East MSP at a Glance

  1. Technical Expertise
  2. Exceptional Customer Service
  3. Strategic Foresight
  4. Commitment to Continuous Improvement
  5. Building Strong Partnerships
  6. Effective Marketing and Branding
  7. Thought Leadership

What does it mean to be the top North East MSP?

The Managed Service Provider (MSP) industry is expanding, with businesses increasingly turning to MSPs for their IT needs. In the North East of England, known for its robust industrial base and growing technology sector – see our previous blog for more information – the competition among MSPs is intense. 

As a top regional MSP, the team at InfraZen has decided to put together the seven most important elements needed to become an outstanding managed service provider. 

If you want to become a top MSP in this region, you must blend technical expertise, exceptional customer service, strategic foresight, and a commitment to continuous improvement. This blog explores the essential attributes and strategies that distinguish top MSPs in the North East of England.

1. Technical Expertise

Comprehensive Knowledge Base

A leading MSP in the North East of England must have a solid technical foundation. This includes in-depth knowledge of various IT systems, networks, cybersecurity, cloud services, and data management. Top MSPs invest significantly in training and certifications for their staff, ensuring they are proficient in the latest technologies and best practices.

Certifications from leading technology providers like Microsoft, Cisco, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are particularly valued. These credentials not only validate expertise but also provide a competitive edge in the market. Additionally, keeping up with industry trends through continuous education is crucial. This proactive approach enables MSPs to offer state-of-the-art solutions to their clients.

Problem-Solving Skills

Technical knowledge alone is not enough; the ability to apply this knowledge to solve complex problems is equally important. Top MSPs in the North East are skilled at diagnosing issues quickly and accurately and then implementing effective solutions. This requires a combination of analytical skills, creativity, and practical experience.

For instance, when your client’s network goes down, the MSP must swiftly identify the root cause, whether it’s a hardware failure, software glitch, or cybersecurity breach, and then execute a solution that minimises downtime and data loss. The speed and efficiency of this response can significantly impact the client’s operations and their satisfaction with the MSP’s services.

2. Exceptional Customer Service

Proactive Communication

Excellent customer service is a hallmark of top MSPs. This starts with proactive communication. Rather than waiting for clients to report issues, leading MSPs continuously monitor their clients’ systems and provide regular updates. This proactive approach helps prevent problems before they escalate and reassures clients that their IT infrastructure (and business) is in capable hands.

Personalised Service

Understanding that each client has unique needs, top MSPs tailor their services accordingly. This personalised approach involves conducting thorough assessments of the client’s IT environment, business goals, and specific challenges. Based on this information, the MSP can develop customised solutions that align with the client’s objectives.

For example, a small business might need basic IT support and cloud services, while a larger enterprise could require comprehensive cybersecurity measures and advanced data analytics. By offering bespoke solutions, top MSPs ensure that their services provide maximum value to each client.

Rapid Response and Resolution

When issues do arise, the speed and efficiency of the response are crucial. Top MSPs prioritise quick resolution of problems to minimise disruption to the client’s business. This often involves maintaining a 24/7 support team that can address issues at any time, ensuring that clients receive assistance whenever they need it.

3. Strategic Foresight

Anticipating Industry Trends

The IT landscape is constantly evolving, with new technologies and trends emerging regularly. Top MSPs in the North East stay ahead of the curve by anticipating these changes and adapting their services accordingly. This foresight allows them to offer innovative solutions that keep their clients competitive.

For example, the growing importance of cybersecurity has led many top MSPs to develop specialised services in this area, such as advanced threat detection and response, compliance management, and employee training programs. Similarly, the increasing adoption of cloud computing has prompted MSPs to enhance their cloud migration and management capabilities.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

A key aspect of strategic foresight is preparing for potential disruptions. Top MSPs help their clients develop robust business continuity and disaster recovery plans. These plans ensure that critical operations can continue, and data can be recovered quickly in the event of a disaster, such as a cyberattack, natural disaster, or system failure.

This involves conducting risk assessments, identifying critical systems and data, and developing strategies for backup and recovery. By having these plans in place, MSPs can help their clients mitigate the impact of unforeseen events and maintain business continuity.

4. Commitment to Continuous Improvement

Investing in Technology and Tools

Top MSPs recognise the importance of investing in the latest technology and tools to enhance their service delivery. This includes advanced monitoring and management software, cybersecurity tools, and automation solutions. By leveraging these technologies, MSPs can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and provide higher-quality services to their clients.

For example, automation tools can streamline routine tasks, such as software updates and system monitoring, allowing MSPs to focus on more strategic activities. Similarly, advanced cybersecurity tools can provide real-time threat detection and response, enhancing the MSP’s ability to protect their clients’ data and systems.

Employee Development and Retention

A company is only as good as its employees, and this is especially true for MSPs (in the early days we found this out the hard way). Top MSPs invest in their workforce by providing ongoing training and development opportunities. This not only enhances the skills and knowledge of their staff but also helps attract and retain top talent.

In addition to technical training, top MSPs also focus on developing soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. These skills are essential for delivering excellent customer service and working effectively as a team.

Client Feedback and Adaptation

Continuous improvement also involves actively seeking and incorporating client feedback. Top MSPs regularly seek feedback from their clients to identify areas for improvement and to ensure that their services are meeting client needs. This feedback loop helps MSPs stay responsive to their clients’ evolving requirements and fosters a culture of continuous improvement.

For example, an MSP might use client surveys, regular check-in meetings, and performance reviews to gather feedback. By analysing this feedback and making necessary adjustments, the MSP can continuously refine their services and enhance client satisfaction.

5. Building Strong Partnerships

Vendor Relationships

Top MSPs understand the importance of building strong relationships with technology vendors. These partnerships can provide access to the latest technologies, training, and support, enabling MSPs to offer superior services to their clients. Additionally, strong vendor relationships can lead to better pricing and more favourable terms, which can be passed on to clients.

For example, partnering with leading technology providers like Microsoft, Cisco, or Dell can provide MSPs with access to cutting-edge products and solutions, as well as the expertise needed to implement and manage these technologies effectively.

Collaborative Client Relationships

Building strong, collaborative relationships with clients is also crucial. Top MSPs view their clients as partners (as they should), working closely with them to understand their business goals and challenges. This collaborative approach helps build trust and ensures that the MSP’s services are aligned with your client’s needs.

For example, regular strategy meetings and performance reviews can help MSPs stay aligned with their clients’ goals and make necessary adjustments to their services. This collaborative approach also fosters a sense of partnership and mutual respect, which can lead to long-term client relationships.

6. Effective Marketing and Branding

Clear Value Proposition

To stand out in a competitive market, top MSPs must have a clear and compelling unique selling point. This involves clearly communicating the benefits of their services and how they address the specific needs of their target clients. This helps attract new clients and differentiate the MSP from competitors.

For example, an MSP might highlight their expertise in a specific industry, such as healthcare or finance, and emphasise their ability to provide tailored solutions that address the unique challenges of that industry. This clear value proposition can help attract clients who are looking for specialized expertise.

InfraZen started out by helping the financial services sector and North East accountancy firms make the most out of their IT. 

Online Presence

In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential (particularly for a tech company). Top MSPs invest in a professional website, search engine optimisation (SEO), and social media marketing to attract and engage potential clients. A well-designed website that clearly communicates the MSP’s services, expertise, and value proposition can be a powerful marketing tool.

Additionally, maintaining an active presence on social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (X), can help MSPs connect with potential clients and industry peers, share valuable insights, and build their brand.

7. Thought Leadership

Establishing yourself as a thought leader in the industry can also help  you (as a potential top MSP) attract clients and build your reputation. This involves sharing valuable insights and expertise through blogs, whitepapers, webinars, and speaking engagements. By demonstrating your knowledge and expertise, You can position yourself as a trusted advisor and industry leader.

For example, an MSP might publish a blog on the latest cybersecurity threats and best practices for protecting against them (look at our last blog on exactly that subject HERE). This type of thought leadership content can help attract potential clients who are looking for expert guidance on cybersecurity issues.

So, what does it take to be a top MSP in the north east?

Becoming a top MSP in the North East of England requires a combination of technical expertise, exceptional customer service, strategic foresight, and a commitment to continuous improvement. By investing in your people, technology, and your client relationships, and by maintaining a strong online presence and thought leadership, You can differentiate yourself in a competitive market and achieve long-term success. 

As the IT landscape continues to evolve, MSPs that stay agile, proactive, and client-focused will be best positioned to thrive and grow.

If you would like advice on how to develop your skills and become an industry leader in the north east then get in touch with InfraZen HERE. We are always looking for talented individuals and companies to partner up with and enhance the business security and technological innovation of the north east. 

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