Ask Intronis: How should I tell my customer that a backup failed

Posted by Courtney Steinkrauss on Apr 6, 2015 9:02:00 AM

Ask Intronis is a weekly advice column answering common questions from MSPs and IT service providers. It covers topics ranging from pricing and selling to marketing and communications—and everything in between. Submit your questions by emailing

Q: As an MSP, I always provide great service to my small business customers. But, what should I do if a backup fails? I want to avoid a potentially awkward conversation with the customer, but I also want to be honest. How should I handle situations like this? 

Communication is a key part of any services business. Letting your customers know about a problem and sharing key metrics with them builds trust and also helps you prove your value.

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Topics: Customer Management, Ask Intronis

Interest in IT automation rises to meet the challenge of scale

Posted by Mike Vizard on Mar 10, 2015 11:44:41 AM

Unlike large-scale web companies such as Facebook and Google, most IT organizations don’t have an excess of engineering talent to throw at IT challenges. Therefore it’s not surprising that a new survey conducted by EMC finds that many IT organizations are counting on advances in IT automation to help them manage IT at scale.

The survey of 10,451 IT business decision-makers also finds that 74 percent of the respondents said that increased reliance on automation is imperative to their business growth strategies.

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Topics: IT Services Trends, Customer Management

Ask Intronis: How to transition my SMB customers to fixed pricing

Posted by Courtney Steinkrauss on Feb 16, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Q: I want to switch my customers to a fixed price plan, but I'm not sure where to get started. They’re all used to paying per gigabyte, so I'm afraid they won't want to change. How should I set up the new pricing? When should I break the news, and what should I say? 

Be patient, and don’t rush the change. Customers get comfortable with the way things are, so it can take a little handholding to get them to embrace a new approach. You also shouldn’t feel like you have to switch every customer over to a different plan all at once. Take your time and plan out how and when you’ll approach each of your customers.

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Topics: Selling Cloud Backup, Customer Management, Ask Intronis

MSPs Beware: Do your research before signing that new prospect

Posted by Stuart Crawford on Feb 4, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Who is your ideal client? As an MSP, you probably have some standards about the kind of companies you want to work with—say, SMBs with 50+ users, from one of four or five industries, in a period of growth, etc., etc. Most MSPs won’t turn away business that doesn’t match their ideal, but that doesn’t mean you should work with everyone who comes knocking at your door.

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Topics: Buyer Targeting, Customer Management

Tame BYOD with MDM, VMI, and file sync and share

Posted by Alan Earls on Oct 16, 2014 9:00:00 AM

BYOD – the bring-your-own-device revolution that has exploded the traditional world of IT – is not going away…For better or worse, top management and business owners love their iPhones, iPads, and Android devices and insist that regardless of issues of complexity and security, they should be able to use them as their front-end to all the goodies in the corporate store.

That means IT has got to follow their lead and just make it work. Fortunately, there are some helpful technologies emerging into widespread use.

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Topics: Cloud Trends, Customer Management

Zenith Infotech planned operations shutdown

Posted by Alan Earls on Oct 6, 2014 3:32:32 PM

A report from Channelnomics states that venerable cloud infrastructure and backup service provider Zenith Infotech is planning a rapid shutdown of operations, as soon as Oct. 15.  The information is not posted on the Zenith Infotech web site but the “contact us” page is no longer functional – never a good sign.

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Topics: Business Development, Customer Management

Why 'upsell' doesn't have to be a dirty word

Posted by Manny Veiga on Aug 21, 2014 11:59:00 AM

Upselling is a fairly common strategy many sales teams use to extend and enhance their relationships with current customers. But lots of businesses - including many MSPs - avoid upselling because it's developed an unfortunate stigma.

Just the word "upsell" can draw negative connotations - think the sleazy used car salesman who wants to push you toward the flashy package you probably don't need. And while that's probably an unfair slight on all the hard-working used car salemen out there, the simple fact is that customers don't want to feel pressured to buy "add-ons". 

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Topics: Customer Management

Internal IT may finally be exercising some cloud control

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jul 14, 2014 8:00:00 AM

For a long time internal IT organizations have passively sat by as cloud computing services have proliferated across the enterprise. But new research that finds that the number of cloud services in use is starting to plateau in the enterprise suggests that internal IT organizations are finally starting to exercise more control over the cloud.

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Topics: Customer Management

LOB executives taking IT charge in the cloud era

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 9, 2014 10:12:00 AM

Cloud computing added fuel to a shadow IT spending problem that has been an issue most organizations have been grappling with for years.

But now that line of business executives have been buying cloud application services without any direct intervention from IT for years, they now have more confidence in their own choices.

In fact, cloud applications aimed at sales people has become a multibillion market and marketing executives are expected to spend more on IT than the CIO by 2017.

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Topics: Customer Management

The rise of the citizen integrator

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 29, 2014 11:30:00 AM

Not too long ago application integration was the sole province of developers and IT specialists. But with the rise of a bevy of new tools and services in the cloud, application integration is quickly moving into the province of the average end user.

Obviously, more complex data integration efforts will still require specialists. But the day when application integration of any type required specialized skills are for better or worse clearly coming to an end.

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Topics: Customer Management

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