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Managed Service Providers: 5 Tips to Promote your Co-Managed Services to Clients

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

As co-managed IT services and outsourcing become more common, many companies are considering a Managed Services Provider to supplement in-house IT teams. According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the global managed services market is expected to reach $329.1 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 9.3% from 2020 to 2025.

If you are an MSP, this is a perfect opportunity to step in and provide valuable work, however, discussing services with clients can be a challenge. Here are some tips on how to have a conversation with potential clients about IT infrastructure, managed IT services, and co-management partnerships.

1. Understand the Client's Needs for Co-Managed IT Services

Before discussing IT services, it's important to understand what each prospective client needs. You should ask clients about their current IT services model, infrastructure setup, and the challenges the internal IT team is facing — if there is an internal IT team. This conversation will help you identify areas where you can provide the most value.

It's important to take note of these difficulties and your offerings in shared documentation, especially if the teams will be working asynchronously or remotely. Communication is not just important with clients, but within your own team as well. Documenting your findings can also provide visual reminders of what each prospective client wants and how you can execute solutions.

2. Explain the Benefits of Co-Managed Services

Once you understand the IT staff's needs, you should explain how the IT operations that you offer can solve these problems and benefit the business owner. It’s also important to discuss how you differentiate from competitors in the MSP marketplace. A survey by Clutch found that 69% of small businesses hire MSPs for at least one IT service, and 41% of small businesses hire MSPs for all of their IT needs.

For businesses with a small team, assisted desk support can perform:

  • Day-to-day tasks for IT teams with limited resources, allowing the existing IT staff to focus on strategic initiatives and existing operations

  • 24/7 support, ensuring that IT services are provided quickly with up-to-date resources

  • Technical expertise and information that can be passed on to internal teams for future technical fixes

A few considerations that you should have while explaining what you offer would be:

  • The hiring costs vs cost savings that clients would have to consider if they use external providers

  • The scalability of the co-managed services, such as how easily the service can be expanded to meet the client's changing needs.

  • The improved strategies, expertise, and project management that your staff may be able to teach existing teams.

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3. Clarify the Duties of the Internal Team

With co-managed IT services and in-house teams, it's important to efficiently manage expectations and contract details to avoid miscommunication and optimize efficiency. When pitching a partnership or contract, clarify exactly what you are offering, how it will help the business, and what you do not provide.

The MSP should handle tasks that are outside the scope of the internal team's expertise or resources.

Limitations for teams can include tasks like:

  • Network security

  • Vulnerability management

  • Data backup

  • Event monitoring

  • Disaster recovery.

The internal IT department should continue to handle tasks that are within their expertise such as user support, routine maintenance, and application management.

If you aren't sure about the client's team limitations, make sure to have further conversations or try a different communication method to ensure that both parties understand.

4. Address Potential Concerns Within Internal IT teams

Prospective clients may have concerns about the impact of this co-managed IT model on their internal team and company culture. It's vital to address these concerns and explain how your operations can actually benefit company employees and boost employee morale.

By providing additional resources, information technology, and expertise, you can help internal teams focus on more company-specific business goals and improve overall IT performance. The added assistance can also provide an outside perspective on current issues or blockages that internal staff members may not have been able to solve.

5. Define the Scope of the Co-Managed Services

A few reasons that many businesses struggle with an external provider are:

  • Miscommunications over tasks being fully managed

  • Ongoing expenses that overlap with your services

  • Misunderstanding about what your team is offering.

Therefore, it's important to explain what falls within the MSP's duties and scope.

This explanation should include a clear definition of the tasks that the co-management partner will, and won’t, handle, as well as the responsibilities of the original team. This clarity will ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

Drawing up a clear table of services and responsibilities may help to ensure business continuity and act as a visual aid. Again, it's important to document all decisions and agreements to increase understanding.

Important Considerations for a Potential Co-Managed IT Team

As you have seen it's important to understand technical expertise, in-house needs, and the existing IT staff to best market yourself as an MSP.

After initial discussions, the IT department should understand:

  • The benefits of co-managed IT services

  • The internal duties in a co-management partnership

  • The potential benefits of having an existing IT team working in a co-managed team

  • The scope of the managed service provider's work.

By following these tips, you can help prospective clients make informed decisions about co-managed services to improve internal IT departments.



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