The Business Case for MSPs Offering Employee Training and Enablement
(This is the first in a seven-part blog series on why MSPs should offer Employee Training and Enablement services.)
As MSPs search for ways to augment existing service offerings and revenue streams, Employee Training and Enablement may provide the means to increase revenue, improve service, and grow customer retention.
The problem of growing your Managed Service Provider (MSP) business is a multi-faceted one. You’ve got to continually grow recurring revenue streams by either adding services or augmenting existing ones. You’ve also got to manage the increasing complexities that come with integrating the cloud while still maintaining necessary on-premises infrastructure and resources. A shortage of IT talent isn’t helping. And you have to balance all this on top of rising customer expectations, striving to not only keep your customer happy, but also become entrenched as a critical part of their business.
Acquiring additional customers is the number one challenge for MSPs in 2023, according to Kaseya’s MSP Benchmark Report, so we know that route isn’t the lowest hanging fruit on the “MSP Growth” tree. So, it becomes a question of increasing adoption of existing services within your customer base, offering additional services to your customer base, or (if possible) both.
MSPs face two challenges with either of those methods:
- You don’t have the time and resources to get into a new line of service, and
- You don’t want to risk trying to sell your customer a new service they may not want.
When you offer a truly new service, there’s an inherent risk in both mastering it (in order to be able to offer it in the first place) and in getting your customer to want to utilize (and pay for) the service.
What if the service in question wasn’t necessarily new to either you or your customer and it was something that actually made both your lives easier?
Allow us to briefly make the case for offering Employee Training and Enablement as just such a service.
The Case for Employee Training and Enablement
Employee Training and Enablement (ETE) services combine important education and enablement training into a single package, instead of providing them individually as has historically been the case. The combined services are designed to provide employees with whatever they need to do their job effectively. ETE services include:
- Security Awareness Training
- Microsoft 365 User Training
- Self-Service Custom Training
- Policy & Compliance Management
Offered via an MSP-centric, multi-tenant, web-based portal, ETE provides your customer with the tools they need to enable their employees while minimizing the learning curve and handling all the management hurdles it would normally take for your organization to deliver this as a service to your customers.
To prove it to you, let’s address those two challenges previously mentioned:
1. Minimal Time and Resources Needed
Offered as a service on a single web platform, ETE is far more at the “15 minutes to set up” end of the service spectrum than the “master four learning management systems over months” end. Much of the management can be set up to be self-serviced by the customer as well, which further reduces the burden on your team.
2. Minimal Risk of Customer Rejection
As with any service, you should always start with the customer’s business objectives and work backwards to a service offering to reduce the risk of a customer not signing up for a new service. So, what if your pitch for ETE was to simply help your customer improve the enablement of their employees? Think about it: there’s not an easier sell.
- You already sell them cybersecurity…how about enabling their employees to make the business more secure?
- You already sell them managed Microsoft 365…how about helping their employees get more from that investment?
- They already have corporate policies, employee onboarding, and compliance needs…how about enabling your customer to deliver all that more easily from the web?
In essence, ETE augments and underpins the value of a number of existing services you already offer, all while creating an opportunity for the customer to streamline parts of their business that have been traditionally offline or accomplished in disparate systems by putting all of their training and enablement within a single service. And lastly, this use of ETE for customized training and continually managing employee policies is an additional means of further entrenching your business within theirs.
Diving a Bit Deeper into ETE
No MSP is going to simply read a few paragraphs in a blog and make a decision on a new service that will impact their business. So, allow us to drill down into some additional aspects of how ETE will augment your business.
In the next six blogs in this seven-blog series on why MSPs should offer ETE services, we’re going to take a look at the value ETE brings MSPs through a number of perspectives:
- Improving Your Customer’s Cybersecurity Stance – We’ll cover how Security Awareness Training augments both your cybersecurity service offering’s value and its effectiveness.
- Enhancing Your Managed Microsoft 365 Service – We’ll discuss how Microsoft 365 Training improves employee adoption and use of Microsoft 365, adding value to your M365 Managed Service offering.
- Increasing Service Value and Customer Reliance with Customized Training – We’ll take a look at how this self-service offering enables both the customer and the MSP to create needed training quickly to improve customer onboarding and productivity while increasing MSP “stickiness.”
- Assisting with Organizational Policies and Compliance – We’ll dive into how Policy and Compliance Management aligns with employee training while aiding the customer’s own initiatives around internal and external compliance.
- Moving from Managing to Enabling Your Customer – We’ll outline how ETE benefits the MSP in terms of customer acquisition, profitability, and revenue growth.
- Implementing and Offering ETE Is Easy – We’ll look at several ways MSPs today offer this unique service to help find a way that best fits your business model.
In the next three blogs in this series, we’ll focus on each of the types of training that enable employees to be more productive while keeping their company secure, beginning with Security Awareness Training in part 2.