(Editor’s note: contributed blogs like this are part of ChannelBuzz.ca’s annual sponsorship program. Find out more here. This article was authored by Alex Hoff, vice president of product management at Auvik Networks.)
As a managed service provider delivering network support, you face a big problem: how to quickly see, understand, and control network infrastructure.
Over the last two decades, other areas of technology have seen huge advances. There are plenty of great tools for managing servers and desktops at scale, for example.
But the tasks involved in managing network infrastructure — routers, switches, firewalls, and the like — are largely the same as they’ve always been. Technicians still log in through a CLI, type in a set of arcane commands, then try to parse whatever data is returned.
What’s more, as we explored in a previous post, this blind spot when it comes to network infrastructure means your business isn’t delivering all the network services it could be delivering. Translation: You’re leaving money on the table.
Just how much money? Let’s run some quick calculations.
Calculating the opportunity
As an example, I’ll use a fictitious MSP called NetCo. NetCo is fairly small, with 5 technicians and 40 clients. They prepare quotes for two new prospects a month, and land a new client every other month.
This is how their business numbers look. Their employee cost per hour nets out at $51.
How much money could you save on your quoting process?
Preparing an accurate assessment and quote for a new client network is one of those things that tends to take a long time — tracing wires, querying each device one by one to build a topology map, and so on. “Seeing” a network is hard to do.
In talking to MSPs, we’ve heard anything from two weeks to three months as the timeframe to turn a quote around!
We’ll assume NetCo is somewhere in the middle of that range, and it takes them 34 hours to prepare a new quote. At $51 per hour, that’s $1,727 to quote a single new prospect.
Using Auvik’s network operations system, however, discovering, mapping, and analyzing a new network is entirely automated. On average, it takes just 14 hours to assess a network with Auvik, cutting the cost of NewCo’s quotes by more than half.
How much money could you save with your documentation process?
Current and accurate network documentation — maps, inventories, configuration documentation and backups — is essential to efficient troubleshooting and disaster recovery. But it’s stuff that takes time to produce and often gets put off until later.
Let’s assume, though, that NetCo is following best practices and keeping all their network documentation up to date. We’ll estimate that it takes their technicians 4.5 hours per month per client. Multiplied by 40 clients, that’s 180 hours per month, or $9,180 just to do paperwork!
Using Auvik, documentation costs are zero. Maps, inventories, and configuration documentation and backup are all automated and kept current in real-time.
Now let’s talk about the revenue opportunity
I recently spoke to a room full of successful MSPs. I asked how many were charging their clients for the management of network infrastructure devices. Hardly anyone put up their hand.
That’s an overlooked opportunity. You can and should be charging clients for network infrastructure devices, such as routers, switches, firewalls, and Wi-Fi controllers. And I don’t mean just a handful of dollars per device either.
With the infrastructure insight and control you can offer with Auvik, our partners are able to charge $80 to $100 per device.
NetCo has 40 clients. Let’s assume each client has six infrastructure devices on their network — that’s a potential $600 in net new revenue. Multiplied by their entire client base, NetCo is suddenly looking at an increase of $24,000 per month!
As you can see with this simple example, better visibility, control, and automation of network infrastructure can add up to thousands of dollars in monthly savings and revenue for an MSP.
Want to run the numbers on your own business? The Auvik Opportunity Calculator features the three widgets I’ve used in this blog post, as well as others for calculating savings in troubleshooting, onboarding, and more. Access it for free here.