5 Mobility IT services small businesses need from MSPs

Posted by Achmad Chadran on Jun 3, 2015 8:30:00 AM

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Demand for mobile services continues to grow at an exponential rate and drive business in a big way for IT service providers. This trend isn’t just affecting large enterprises, though. MSPs can—and should—partner with SMBs that are ready to embrace the possibilities that mobile innovation brings them.

As an IT service provider, you can play a vital role in helping SMBs evaluate, integrate, and manage new mobile technologies, while reducing their costs and risks. And that can lead to new opportunities for you as an MSP.

Here are five of the most urgent services that SMBs need MSPs to provide in order to make the most of the new mobility-enabled marketplace.

1. Mobile Device Management

The proliferation of mobile devices, software, and services in the workplace now strains organizations charged with monitoring, maintaining, and securing them. A recent survey of 314 IT professionals conducted by QuinStreet Enterprise found that nearly half identified mobile device management as a target area for cloud investments.

For many MSPs, cloud-enabled mobile device management is a natural extension of their current portfolio of services, not to mention an easy add-on service to help boost per-account revenues. Several PSA and RMM vendors offer mobile device management modules for platforms popular among MSPs, and these modules offer potential shortcuts to expanded services.

2. Upgrading IT for Mobility

IT administrators often need to react to an influx of personal devices and consumer apps that workers bring into the office. Situations like these create opportunities for MSPs that are ready to help companies make the most of mobility. Given the inevitability that workers will use their personal smartphones and tablets for work, why not optimize office IT with this in mind?

IDC recently advocated smart mobility planning for SMBs as a means to make the best use of limited resources. By initiating this planning process, MSPs can build on their credentials as a trusted business advisor, expand the portfolio of technology support services they offer, and grow recurring revenues.

3. Mobile-Focused VoIP

Advanced Voice over IP (VoIP) services offer another way for SMBs to leverage today’s BYOD culture. While technologies such as Follow Me Call Routing, Voicemail-to-Email conversion, and Time-of-Day-Routing are not new, competition among VoIP service providers has made them more affordable and accessible to small businesses. Among their many advantages, cloud- and mobile-enabled VoIP services like these can help SMBs seem like large enterprises instead of the lean, mean organizations they actually are.

MSPs can help clients harness VoIP technologies in several ways. Some hold exclusive franchises for national VoIP services, while others broker several services. Most VoIP solution providers install and maintain office telephone equipment and integrate voice and IT systems as well.

4. Business File-Sharing

No discussion of mobility would be complete without mentioning business-grade file-sharing. Consumer-grade file sync and share is typically the app that forces SMB administrators to take cloud and mobility strategies seriously due to the damage it can wreak on customer data and industry compliance.

Given the choice, it usually makes more sense to bring a business-grade sharing platform into the company rather than to try to enforce a prohibition on consumer apps running on personal devices. Besides, a true business-grade platform can add tremendously to a team’s ability to innovate and collaborate, whether among fellow teammates or with external partners. Many MSPs already benefit from the sale of business file-sharing and collaboration services, the best of which integrate with Microsoft Active Directory for centralized management and enhanced security.

5. Cloud-Based Security

Demand for cloud-based security (a.k.a., Security as a Service) solutions has mushroomed as the devices and data formats that SMBs need to secure has grown. These platforms can help organizations minimize the risks associated with storing sensitive data on numerous devices, not to mention threat vectors such as passwords, PINs, and other information ripe for social engineering exploits.

As with the other services on this list, MSPs have the option to bundle cloud-based security services with other offerings. This bundling approach can help MSPs simplify offerings, tailor service combinations to suit specific vertical markets, and strengthen their brands.

Mobility Services to Strengthen Your Brand

This list captures services that SMBs need now, given how quickly companies are embracing mobile technologies. But don’t shy away from more cutting-edge services, especially if your clients have come to lean on you for innovation and vision. There’s been an explosion of enterprise mobility startups, busily disrupting such domains as business intelligence, marketing, travel and expense management, and social media. Not all such startups will be willing or resourced to sell through the channel, but it is well worth looking into.

By partnering with MSPs, even the smallest businesses can take advantage of fast-growing demand for mobile technologies. Armed with the right vision, SMBs and MSPs actually stand to out-innovate large enterprises, thanks to smaller companies’ ability to move more nimbly than their larger, more bureaucratic counterparts.

Photo Credit: Sam Churchill on Flickr. Used under CC 2.0 license.

Topics: IT Services Trends

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