Break-up with break/fix-the new age MSP way!


With companies popping up everywhere and tech being at the center of it, the need to effectively manage their IT needs is now more than ever.

In addition, the fast-paced IT world demands an agile, less tedious, time-saving, and holistic solution towards IT service delivery. So, the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach may not be as sustainable as you think. Not anymore!

How do we transition from break/fix to managed services, you ask? Well, here's what the MSP thought leader and the CEO of SabinoCompTech, Nancy Sabino had to say on our podcast: SuperPod — the no-filter MSP show.

Why should you consider the managed services model?

The IT services industry has steadily evolved along with its customer needs over time. Having started a break/fix company at 22, and eventually adopting a managed services model 4 years later, Nancy cites the trend she observed in the way client requirements changed as a reason for the shift.

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Instead of waiting for something to be broken, they were wanting to make sure that there was a lot of proactive work being done and so we changed the model

quotes Nancy when asked about why they had shifted to an MSP model.

While the break/fix model ensured autonomy, privacy, and control from a client perspective, it certainly left IT service owners wanting more in terms of having a predictable revenue and a hassle-free way to manage their business. However, the MSP model helps either party in terms of having a streamlined business model and puts the owners in the driver's seat.

Related reading: How MSPs are pivoting to meet client needs in a post-pandemic world

Is the break/fix model all that bad?

In a way, certain types of clients could profit from the break/fix model under the right circumstances, leaving them no reason to consider the MSP way. So, it depends on the business owner to decide what is best for them. One way to make this decision is to consider the spectrum of clientele and evaluate the individual preferences to decide what model works best for them.

When asked about why she chose to adopt the MSP model, Nancy said,

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As a business owner, if you start to recognize that there are more opportunities for proactive work, then that's when you're going to start looking at more of the managed services on a monthly recurring basis, which on a business level, is going to be a lot more predictable for it's going to increase your cash flow in a much more predictable way. For me, personally, I like that security much better. And it worked with my customer's needs.

How can a break/fix service provider change to a managed services model?

A great starting point would be to look at all the customer requirements and pick up patterns or commonalities in their service needs. Once you have that figured out, you can create a platform and offer structured packages of your services to offer to clients. This practice helps business owners standardize their products, service offerings, and service delivery making it a boon from an operational standpoint.

What happens to the existing clients who still prefer break/fix?

So at some point, if you decide to convert to an MSP, you would probably have to decide to let some of your break/fix clients go, but there could be a better way to do this. To mitigate this problem, a lot of service providers offer a combination of break/fix and managed services to their clients. This certainly provides a cushion for the break/fix clients to explore the MSP model without burning a hole in their pockets.

Nancy cites an interesting story of a client when asked about her experience transitioning to an MSP:

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There were customers at the very beginning of our transition who were not ready to move either because of the business size or because they just weren't seeing the value at the time. And years later, they came back, and they're now our managed services client. And probably some of the best clients that we have because they understand now the differences and the value that we were offering them that they weren't ready for before. So I always say like, never close a door, because you just never know when it's the right time for someone, or when it may not be.

In the event wherein a client couldn't afford to adopt the MSP model, helping them find another break/fix provider goes a long way in terms of maintaining good customer relationships.

The consensus

All in all, it can be said that the decision to shift to an MSP for a break/fix provider depends on a lot of subjective parameters. The process of decision-making, however, can be quantified by considering a few questions as quoted in the article above. If you wish to go the MSP way, we've got you covered here on SuperPod — the no-filter MSP show.

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