Kentucky MSP Gains 40 Hours of Productivity a Month
DEVsource Technology Solutions
Managed Service Provider
Mike Hopkins can breathe a sigh of relief. His technical staff is no longer spending countless hours just maintaining Exchange servers for their clients. Since this Managed Service Provider (MSP) joined SherWeb’s partner program five years ago, his support staff has gained about 40 hours of productivity every month. And, the company is making more money to boot.
Mr. Hopkins is the President of DEVsource Technolgy Solutions, an MSP based in Murray, KY. The company provides remote and on-site support to about 75 clients in Western Kentucky and Tennessee. DEVsource, a former Microsoft Advisor, had been managing on-premises Exchange servers for several years when Mr. Hopkins realized they just weren’t making any money.
“I think we had fooled ourselves into believing that we were better at maintaining these servers than we really were. The managed service fees we were getting for maintaining them, our hourly rate, was relatively low.“
Profits Increased by 25%
Mr. Hopkins said by moving his clients to Hosted Exchange with SherWeb, he has eliminated those maintenance costs. Profits in his Cloud Services division have also increased by 25%.
“We’re more profitable because of this. There’s no doubt our technical staff is easily spending 20% less time dealing with Exchange-type issues. In a given month, we’re easily saving a 40-hour week of management time spread across our technical staff.“
DEVsource recently moved about 32 organizations to Office 365 with SherWeb. Mr. Hopkins said he was aware of Office 365 several years ago but was hesitant to offer it because he felt the product just wasn’t mature enough.
“IT companies were nervous about it back then. We saw we weren’t making good profit margins from managing Exchange servers and then Microsoft came along with something that had a very small profit margin. This product (Office 365) was immature in those days. When we saw that SherWeb created and matured their partnership with Microsoft for Office 365, that was a good signal for us to move forward.“
Once Mr. Hopkins decided to make the move, he was pleased with the seamless migration offered by SherWeb.
“I was surprised how smoothly everything went. You did what you promised and I’m not sure our clients really noticed too much. We couldn’t be happier with that migration.“
Getting prompt technical support from SherWeb was also a plus after the challenges of dealing with Microsoft.
“There’s no doubt about it; the support is fantastic. For anyone who’s tried to get support directly from Microsoft, you know how challenging it can be. It seems like every time I opened a ticket, they managed to call us back five minutes after we closed for the day.“
Bundling Services with Office 365
After several years of dealing with the billing restrictions under Microsoft’s Advisor program, Mr. Hopkins said SherWeb’s monthly billing model just made more sense.
“We wanted to maintain control of the billing arrangement, but Microsoft made it challenging for us to do that. SherWeb provides the model that we’re used to. That monthly sort of engagement; you provide these services, we pay you this amount, then we bill our clients, or it gets bundled into our managed services fees to our clients.“
Mr. Hopkins said bundling services this way is particularly important when he’s selling Office 365. He said he used to include Office 365 as a line item in his sales proposals, but found that some clients backed away because they thought Office 365 was just too expensive.
“I feel we have lost at least one deal because the client didn’t believe they needed Office 365. They were comparing us with a competitor who either wasn’t offering email or they were offering some really cheap POP-type email. So we lost the deal because they said, ‘Well, you’re too expensive.’ After analysis, it turned out it was because we hadn’t bundled Office 365; we put it in a separate line.“
New Opportunity with Azure
So, what are the next steps for DEVsource? Mr. Hopkins said the company has no plans to slow down its offering for Office 365. He’s also setting his sights on what he sees as the next big opportunity: Microsoft Azure.
“Our sales department has to get comfortable selling cloud servers. That’s tricky. I think the larger opportunity is Microsoft Azure. We have very few clients with cloud servers.“