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Maniaman
Mar 3, 2006


mindphlux posted:

But, I have an additional question, also along the MSP line : do any of you guys or your companies make any money off of reselling virtualized services? IE, 'cloud' exchange servers, sharepoint, webhosting, etc.

I don't know if I'm doing it wrong, but most of my clients are smart enough to do a cursory google search for like, 'hosted exchange' and see that the going rate is like 7-20$/mailbox. if I were to turn around and resell a hosted service to them at any price point that made sense for me (maybe $350 for a "10 mailbox virtual exchange server" and then bill hourly to support it), I feel like they'd be like 'what.'

This is the problem we're running into trying to resell online backup. The companies themselves offer 1000000TB for like $5/month, or we can resell it and pay $5/computer on top of something ridiculous like $1/GB.

Basically online backup reseller pricing schemes suck and the big companies themselves still try to undercut you.

Hosting's not as big of a deal. We usually bundle hosting with website maintenance and then just use our server. It's much easier that way, and it's one less thing for them to worry about. (Maintenance is more expensive if they don't use our hosting)

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Maniaman
Mar 3, 2006


mindphlux posted:

just out of curiosity, and if you don't mind my asking - how do you present the 'maintenance being cheaper with our hosting' thing to your clients in a positive light? I'm redrafting all my service agreements and products in 2012, and that's one thing I've been sort of wanting to do. like, make service hours more expensive if the customer isn't on a contract, or like you say, make web maintenance more expensive if not on our hosting, etc. But, I'm a little worried my clients will poo poo bricks - or at very least I'll ruffle some feathers when in the end it might just be a marginal increase in revenue.

Sorry, I totally missed this post until today.

The main justification is that if it's on our server we have control of the configuration and don't have to do horrible hacks or workarounds to get around configuration differences. Plus it helps cut out the middle-man. If the website goes down and its on their own hosting, you have no control over fixing it, but you'll be the one catching the blame for it. It also helps keep them from using php & mysql based apps on a horribly configured windows server.


As for the IT support side, right now I don't have any service contracts for support. I'm wanting to set something up for the businesses we do support for so I can get them on a service contract. I've been tossing around ideas in my head for how to do it but keep drawing a blank. Right now I'm getting screwed/screwing myself because the way I have it structured they're just paying for the hours I spend on-site. This gives me no desire to do preventative maintenance, because to them it will look like an added expense, whereas it would be better if they were paying for it anyway.

How do you have your service agreements structured if you don't mind telling?

Maniaman
Mar 3, 2006


Finally set up a trial of the labtech cloud version.

I feel like this could be insanely powerful, but man is the interface horrible and unpolished. Going to spend a few weeks experimenting with it and see if I can learn how to use it better and if it will work for what I want.

I'm not sure if its just me, but using the cloud version seems to have some pretty bad latency/delay as well.

Then I have to nail out pricing and find a few clients to get on board. Hate to front 25 agents + the $99 hosted fee when I only have a couple small clients interested at the moment, though I'm sure if I offer it more will come.

Maniaman
Mar 3, 2006


I would love to be in on something like that. I don't have a ton of info to offer, but I would love to gather some information, as I've been trying to figure out the best way to structure my service plans/offerings.

Maniaman
Mar 3, 2006


Nooooo Labtech. I was about to give you money. Then you go and announce a partnership with Symantec to bring BackupExec and Endpoint Protection to your system. Why did you do such a thing? I almost want to switch providers now just based on this partnership, even though I would never actually have to use Symantec.

Now, if you dump NOD32 war will be had.

Maniaman
Mar 3, 2006


It's mostly the idea of it and my undying hatred for Symantec.

Maniaman
Mar 3, 2006


We settled with GFI for now. Not the greatest, but the price is right.

Seriously all the MSP software out there sucks. Interfaces are as complicated as can e, there's no good remote access that's cleanly branded or for that matter hidden, and the decent software is cost prohibitive unless you have a ton of customers.

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Maniaman
Mar 3, 2006


Good question. We finally settled on GFI based on the pricing and lack of a minimum amount of agents. It's certainly more basic than LabTech, and some of the things like built-in TeamViewer doesn't work as smooth as I would like, but it does work.

If we ever get enough customers, I'll probably be looking to switch at some point.

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