Most IT consulting firms derive the majority of their income from two sources; professional services and hardware. Unfortunately, a major driver of consistent revenue is being left on the table. Managed Services allow firms to enjoy multiple recurring revenue streams while filling the needs of their existing customers.
While professional services such as consulting and help-desk support are the bread and butter of IT consulting firms, consultants often fall into the rut of a pure professional services model, relying on engineers to provide a constant stream of billable consulting hours to maintain the firm’s profitability. An increasing number of firms are starting to open up to the concept of a suite of managed services requiring fewer dedicated man-hours to implement and support.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, not only to the consultant, but to the customer as well. With software such as SNMPC Network Manager from Castle Rock Computing or PRTG Network Monitor from Paessler, consultants can be immediately alerted to a host of network problems. In many cases, the consultant can be aware of the problem before the customer is affected by the outage. A monthly retainer for network monitoring solutions can provide an additional revenue source as well as capture additional professional services hours in problem resolution.
Online Backup Services
Customers are bombarded with online and radio O365 Migrations advertisements for online backup solutions every day. With several providers offering fully-branded backup solutions, consultants can add their own branded online backup service to their existing customers. Resellers are generally provided with client software for Mac, Linux and Windows, all customized with logos and contact information.
Surprisingly, a large number of small and medium businesses run their email through their ISP, saddling them with an ISP-specific addressing scheme. Providing domain names and continuing email support provides an additional revenue stream. Manage services provide additional revenue while providing services customers will actually use and appreciate. The biggest benefit to the consulting firm is that these services, once configured, are much less labor-intensive than pure professional services.