How Managed IT Services can use RPA to lower their bottom line
For those of you who don’t know my background, I have spent most of my career in the Managed Services arena. Not just locally, I have been a part of national enterprises and been involved for years in peer growth groups like TruMethods, IT Nation, MSP Alliance and many others. I made it an art to combine improving sales with improving delivery, because in the world of Managed Services, there is no better lead like a client referral!
Now, the interesting part is, if you own a managed service practice you probably have attended at one time or another some of these same events (and if you haven’t, sign up for one right now!!) and they do a great job of going through the bread and butter areas of your business to show how you can improve and streamline your operation. They talk about managing sales cycles, and better platforms to manage your clients on. They dive into lead generation and managing your engineers time to improve your margin per client. When I first cracked into the industry, 7-8 years ago, I worked for an industry leader herein South Florida, Compuquip Technologies, who subscribed to all the right metrics, and in doing so had grown their practice very large and while keeping their margins high.
A major contributor to how they achieved this was they were selling fixed fees services in an era of Time and Material, and of course providing superior service to back it up. They could show clients that it was a better partnership to have a long-term contract, rather than someone that was incented just to increase the time spent on a problem. Fast forward to today, we are now in an era where just the reverse is happening. Everyone is selling fixed fee services, and everyone is using the more or less the same tools (at least in the eyes of the client), and almost everyone is utilizing the same “secret sauce.” What companies end up leaning on is that it’s their “people and process” at the end of the day that makes them better. I don’t disagree with this statement for the record, in fact I believe whole heartedly in it. Problem is, everyone is saying it, and when you have a clutter of people saying the same thing, and a client has no prior experience with them, it makes it difficult to decide based on that criteria. Often, you’re prospect is left with a “Devil I know verse the devil I don’t” mentality, and getting people to switch becomes less about the service and more about the cost.
Ultimately, with the onset of cloud and automation services, Managed Services Providers are now looking to leverage RPA for their internal systems to maximize their efficiency. Besides assisting in a lot of the back-office stuff like HR, Finance and Business Operations, MSP’s can really benefit from utilizing RPA to make their help desk and NOC services more efficient by up to 40%! RPA has many use cases in MSP’s from very complex scenarios like monitoring back-ups or storage capacity (and resolving it!) to simpler more routine tasks like password resets, system access issues and different monitoring/reporting areas that you want to offer your clients. The best part about these technologies is they are very quick to implement and won’t cause any downtime in your operations. They even can be run in parallel with the way your business is currently running so that you can see the proof that not only is the robot performing the task to satisfaction, you’ll notice it is doing it better, faster and ends up being more efficient by taking out the human error element. By utilizing this, your team can be focused on higher impact tickets and focus more on customer service.
Accelirate is on a mission to help their Clients on how they can automate Business Processes using RPA, BPM, AI and Cognitive technologies. Accelirate focuses both on RPA and “Smart” RPA Technologies (http://www.accelirate.com)