Consulting – ExchangeDefender Blog

March 7, 2017

ExchangeDefender growing from Essentials to Compliance

Filed under: Consulting — vlad @ 11:40 am

st_patricks_webinarAs you’ve heard us repeat often in 2016, Essentials and Compliance are our fastest growing services and our partners have been using them to grow their business in very creative ways. We’ve interviewed our top partners about how they price, position and market these offerings and we would love to share the business model behind these offerings to help all of our partners find more success with ExchangeDefender in 2017.

ExchangeDefender growing business from Essentials to Compliance
Thu, Mar 16, 2017 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/598282197

Webinar will be recorded (and available to partners shortly) but to get the marketing collateral and anything else we cover in the webinar, you have to attend live. Bring your beer and get an early start on St Patrick’s Day, you can always blame it on Vlad.


March 3, 2016

How ExchangeDefender Protects You From Ransomware

Filed under: Business Tips, Consulting, ExchangeDefender — vlad @ 10:57 am

vcThere has been a lot of news coverage of the new wave of ransomware infecting businesses, encrypting hard drives and data on network shares and creating a “ransom” demand in order to unencrypt it. Initially these viruses traveled as typical viruses do – as executable attachments or inside zip files. Most popular of these was CryptoLocker which has made millions of dollars from businesses that didn’t have adequate protection, most recently from a Hollywood hospital that paid $17,000 to get it’s data back. But ransomware has taken a more evil turn – traveling not as an executable that users have been trained to avoid but as a macro inside Word and Excel documents that users often open without a second thought.

As with any threat, it’s important to layer protection and defend your business with a good firewall, good desktop security product as well as a perimeter scanning service we provide through ExchangeDefender.

ExchangeDefender Layered Protection

Before we discuss how ExchangeDefender protects you from ransomware, the most important aspect of IT security isn’t prevention – it’s education:

If you receive an attachment of any kind from a source you don’t recognize: do not open it.

If you receive an attachment from a source that you do recognize but it looks and feels suspicious: do not open it. If the email address looks wrong, if there are misspelled words, unusual formatting or unusual activity: stop.

But let’s talk about prevention. Our partners have many options of using ExchangeDefender to stop the spread of dangerous malware.

Attachment & Content Type Blocking: The following process is the most flawless, but most disruptive, way to address an epidemic. You can choose to let ExchangeDefender block attachments that are used by Microsoft Office documents. We do not recommend this route but it’s nice to know it’s there for the events in which people are getting infected and virus scanning has not been able to pick up threats faster than they are infecting systems.

OLE Virus Filtering: ExchangeDefender will block macro (.vbs) attachments outright. But with the rise of Locky ransomware we now also scan Microsoft Office documents and look for infected and dangerous malware placed in those. 

Known Threat Sources: ExchangeDefender also blocks dangerous content before it’s even an issue. Most of the threatening content is sent from the same sources that are popular with spammers, hackers and malware distributors: hacked PCs, servers, and blog sites. We maintain a realtime list of networks that spread dangerous content and routinely block their ability to infect our users.

Firewall & Site Blocking: Ultimately, the largest single source of infections isn’t the ExchangeDefender protected or hosted mailbox – it comes through Yahoo mail, Gmail and other non-business email service. If you aren’t blocking those at your work you need to be.

What else can be done?

As mentioned above, client education is the #1 way to address these. Contact our marketing department and ask them to build you a branded best practices flyer for email and Outlook (Hosted Exchange clients only). There are very simple ways to tell when a message is not from your bank or from UPS.

Establish a regularly scheduled backup system for all critical client PCs.

Layer your antivirus protection. No, one AV vendor is not enough and ExchangeDefender uses several commercial and dozens of proprietary data sources to detect and isolate dangerous content. No matter how much you love your single AV vendor and they claim they are the best – like everyone else they will have an infection evade their scan. If you only have one AV engine, consider adding something like ClamAV to your arsenal.

Establish a review of policies and security implementations. We often see that partners rarely configure ExchangeDefender or monitor it in a way that gives them actionable intelligence. The same can be said for client PCs: Are you monitoring your AV implementations? Are you checking that users aren’t turning off AV or firewalls? Are you looking at strange traffic patterns, use of private proxy or VPN networks to evade network security policies?

CryptoLocker and Locky are neither the first nor the most dangerous threats networks face. But with ExchangeDefender, education and layered security we can keep most online outbreaks from affecting business operations.


February 7, 2014

ExchangeDefender World Tour

Filed under: Consulting, Events and Conferences — vlad @ 4:51 pm

Our world tour kicked off in Chicago in January and I’m about to leave Australia for Dubai. It’s simply amazing to see how well our solutions are received worldwide and how the migration product message resonates with solution providers worldwide.

Australia (Sydney & Melbourne) – February 3-8

Dubai – February 9 – 11

UK (London & nearby) – February 12-16

USA – All day every day Smile

While we are primarily promoting our migrations service, the second most discussed solution concerns Compliance Archiving and helping companies deal with compliance and locating what is becoming a growing problem in businesses small and big: information overflow. I’ve been sitting down with partners and discussing common challenges they face in helping small businesses not only operate better but also manage the mountain of information they have built up. As one partner noted: “Years ago they had one filing cabinet for the whole company and a single person could locate any contract or agreement. Now each employee has dozens of cabinets of their own and discovering who said what and when is turning into a logistical nightmare”; I can personally relate to this a lot and I’m very happy to go over how we can help businesses manage this better and have a private Google of their own for the business intelligence they have collected.

The 365 Elephants In The Room

Technologically, I have nothing against Office 365. Exchange is Exchange no matter where it is. Even business-wise, I think their plan selection effectively separates big business from consumer levels.

My main message to partners and my biggest point of differentiation is that our solution is built for a business. From the ground up everything is designed, supported and documented in a way to facilitate business critical operations where one minor issue immediately becomes an emergency as the whole business runs on it. This is where our differentiation and our people and our process and our LiveArchive make an enormous difference and where we ultimately build our solution.

Unfortunately, many discover this differentiation once the consumer solution fails them. When they have to spend time on the phone waiting for support, or a random outage takes hours or days to resolve. At that point they realized they are running business critical systems on a consumer platform with the customer service and support that explains the low end pricing. Everything is great until you need something and then realize that what you have doesn’t fit your needs.

That said, the entry level Exchange and low pricing is not a compromise we will be pursuing. In all of my discussions with service providers these cloud services are already included in the managed services cost. How do more sophisticated partners handle inquiries about Office 365 or Google Apps?

We have a solution that uses exactly the same technology on the backend but it’s build for business by the partners that we have worked for years and we trust. In addition to what you see with Office 365 you also get 1 year of business continuity so when there is a service interruption you can continue to send and receive email. There is also encryption in the product as well as advanced junk mail management so you never miss important messages. And we should also discuss compliance.

Need a desktop version of Office? We can either get you a subscription for $99/year or buy one outright that you own.

It’s that simple.

Migrations = Revenues

It’s a thrill to hear how my message in the presentations across the globe resonates with partners. Everyone sees a different value in ExchangeDefender handling the mail moving portion of the job. Some see additional revenues. Some see decreased costs. Some see more customers faster.

Everyone sees the opportunity to grow. Which is why we chose to dedicate so much of our effort to it.

As I like to mention in my presentations, the secret to success and profits is two fold: “Either find a way to make your revenues by doing less, or find a way to sell more at a higher cost.” With pricing being the eternal argument, the only way we can make our partners grow consistently and quickly is by helping do more of your work. Migrations are just the start and we are doing remarkably well with it worldwide. With each project we get better and learn to manage expectations better and improve our process – something that our partners hopefully never have to go through again. With us handling Outlook/Exchange and partners managed offerings taking care of the user/desktop, the ability to move to the cloud quickly and grow your client base as fast as you can reach/sell them is simply a recipe to follow in 2014.

We are simply making it impossible for you to turn this down in 2014.

I’m happy to say that I’m hearing that loud and clear on two continents so far Smile Now off to Dubai and Europe.

Sincerely,

Vlad Mazek


January 24, 2014

ExchangeDefender 2014 Strategy Webinar

Filed under: Consulting, ExchangeDefender, Hosted Services, Webcast — vlad @ 12:42 pm

It’s important for our partners to understand what we are doing, how and why. We put more priority than most other companies mostly because we are small and the only way we succeed is if our partners do as well. With the MSP and IT marketplace wondering which vendors are going to make it through the year all you have to ask yourself is if you will – because if you do so will we. Everything we are doing at ExchangeDefender (and Shockey Monkey) is about helping our partners grow faster. To hear about it in detail please download the webinar we recorded yesterday:

ExchangeDefender 2014 Strategy Webinar

http://www.ExchangeDefender.com/media/XD2014Strategy.wmv

Growth

Every partner I talk to is focused on growing their revenues. Unfortunately growth, as predicted years ago, is coming at a more expensive rate than it did years ago. Not only is there a smaller pool of customers to pick from but the talent is scarce as well – so you will spend more on marketing and more on staffing.

By taking care of migrations, customer service, billing and even marketing assistance ExchangeDefender can help partners acquire more business and deliver more solutions faster. While that sounds like middle management lingo the truth is that you can grow faster if you can deliver more because you aren’t doing all the work yourself.

This is why we are doing what we are doing – our partners look to us to take care of the time consuming, schedule inconvenient, error prone and delicate parts of managing email and cloud solutions. They look to ExchangeDefender to create accounts, move email, configure Outlook clients – all simple and trivial activities that are remarkably time consuming and take lucrative projects into barely breakeven business. If ExchangeDefender can do it for you for free, why would you want to do it yourself?

Limited Time Opportunity

SBS is dead. Microsoft has priced out the rest of it’s solution stack way out of the typical IT budget of a small or medium sized business and when you layer on the cost of management and the cost of IT talent you see why the change is so significant. Even sophisticated IT providers are looking at the onsite infrastructure as a pain point because talent to manage those devices and servers is so expensive and so difficult to replace, combined with the incessant marketing for the cloud it is a losing proposition on multiple levels.

Don’t misunderstand what we are saying – the “move to the cloud” is not something that will go on for years. Last massively deployed SBS version launched in 2008 and those servers are well out of warranty by now. Over the next 2-3 years most of those customers will make it to the cloud and past that point the “move” will no longer have a significant amount of clients to make it worth while holding 6 figure Exchange and SharePoint specialists on staff.

This is why we are doing what we are doing – providing migration and support assistance to help you get your clients to the cloud is our embrace of the marketing and the pressing need in the marketplace. At the time that everyone is demanding it. If you aren’t talking to your clients about the cloud someone else is and the time to move them is now – but should you hire people just for a short term project to get this done? We feel like we can help there as well.

Success Beyond Traditional IT

I am always asked by partners and IT folks what I would do if I were in their shoes right now. What would I focus on?

I, Vlad Mazek, would focus on building up a larger revenue stream. The more money you have coming in and the more profitable you become the more bets you can make. I don’t sit in your shoes and I don’t know which specific terrific opportunities you may have in your local region – but I know that the only way you can take advantage of them is if you have the funds to market yourself and the time (read: employees) to convert the opportunity into cash.

This is why we are doing what we are doing – our smartest and biggest partners realize that the bottom of the traditional IT is going to fall out from the profitability chain and will no longer drive value. However, if you hold on to your clients and help them with the mobile, cloud, devices and so on there is a way to sustain margins and move on up.

Tune in, join up

Download the webinar and hear us out – it’s remarkably easy to get into the cloud with ExchangeDefender and so many people are already marketing the solution to your customers that the sales and value proposition is already clear to them: They just need to know how you’re going to help them do it.

We are at the greatest point of SMB IT – you’ve never been able to build a more sophisticated IT environment for less – and many small businesses are jumping on the opportunity. This is your chance to be a part of it without having to do a lot of work, without having to hire a ton of people, without having to work weekends and most importantly: Without having to lose your clients to a third party or pricing power.

We believe that the opportunity in SMB IT has never been bigger than it is now: It should be evident by the fact that we are providing these services without any additional costs. We are literally putting our money where our mouth is: We want to reward our partners for years of loyalty and give you an advantage in the marketplace. Eventually we will start charging for the migration services as bigger and bigger projects show up but right now you have nothing to lose and lots of new business to gain. Call us and let’s get this started.

Sincerely,
Vlad Mazek
CEO, ExchangeDefender


September 26, 2013

First Step In Positioning a Migration Sale

Filed under: Business Tips, Consulting — Anastasia @ 8:45 am

Since we’ve announced the launch of our new managed migrations we’ve been getting a lot of great feedback, many of you are ready to jump on board and get the ball rolling! ExchangeDefender is proud to be the only company on the market with this type of offering. We are here to help you understand how to successfully position the service and increase your profit margins to a number you’ve never seen before! Last week I gave you a general overview of the migrations , this week I will discuss the first step in the process, the sale.

· Be Prepared- One of the most important aspects of selling, or anything for that matter is being prepared. The end user does not have the vast knowledge of the cloud like you do; it’s your job to help educate them so they can see the value. Not only will they need to understand the cloud, they will need to understand the offerings being presented to them. When selling ExchangeDefender’s Hosted Exchange the client will need to comprehend there is a difference in the services they will receive from ExchangeDefender vs. the competition. As I discussed last week, ExchangeDefender is specifically designed to be a business enterprise solution, this is immensely different from the barebones, minimum cheap-o solution. To guarantee you are prepared, we offer FREE customized collateral for your business! Our collateral makes it simple to understand the product and its features; your clients will know exactly what they’re getting.

· Time and Cost- As you’ve probably experienced time and time again, the two most frequently asked questions and deciding factors for business owners are- how much will this cost and how long will this take/will I be down? Always come prepared with pricing and the scope of the project! E-mail is the primary form of communication and life blood of their business, so it makes sense they do not want to experience any downtime or difficulties that might arise from a migration. Migrations take time and time is money, but with our managed migrations you won’t have to worry about spending hours of your time or the client’s time ever again. We have developed a migration process that will allow us to seamlessly migrate their mail and this can all be done during off-peak hours. By the time they come in Monday morning, all of their mail will have been migrated to ExchangeDefender’s platform. We see the process through end to end. Price is also an important factor for business owners. As I discussed, your client will need to understand that what you’re offering with ExchangeDefender may be a few bucks more each month, but we are offering a true business enterprise solution, unlike the competition. Since we are doing the migration for you and that is pure profit, you have a little more flexibility on the quote for the migration piece. This will help offset some of the other cost and the client will be more willing to work with you. Most of our partners make their money off the migrations, not the monthly fees they collect from Hosted Exchange. We are giving you the opportunity to pocket every penny of the migration fee.

· Contract and Payment-The last and final step is documentation and setting up a payment agreement. Going back to being prepared, make sure you always have the contract on hand! Also, make sure to always have the payment details in writing and have them sign that agreement.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at : Anastasia@ownwebnow.com or 877-546-0316 x 739.


September 25, 2013

How to make a Load of Cash from a Free Service

Filed under: Business Tips, Consulting — vlad @ 12:12 pm

One of the best things about working at ExchangeDefender is helping partners realize that they can make great, predictable, recurring income from cloud services. It’s no secret that MSP’s and IT solution providers have been slow to adopt “The Cloud,” but things are changing.

By now you should have heard about the Migration Service that ExchangeDefender has been blogging and talking about through social media, our website, as well as webinars. This new service provides a value added solution to our partners, that no other cloud provider is offering as an included part of their Hosted Exchange platform.

What this means for you, is that the service you have been charged for by others, is now a definitive way to earn additional revenues. Let’s deep dive into exactly how you can price this solution to your customers.

Pricing

There are many ways to price an add-on service such as the ExchangeDefender migration solution. The most common pricing models are, “including the pricing in the recurring monthly fee,” “charging an upfront flat project fee,” or “charging customers hourly.”

Hourly Fee Option:

With the migration solution, adding on an hourly fee for the migration may not be the best option. Since there will be very little, if any onsite tech time, an hourly fee may be harder to justify and may create unwanted questioning by the customer after the job is complete. For this reason, we would advise against this pricing model.

Upfront Project Fee Option:

An upfront project fee has been a very common way of infusing cash into an IT business. Since the migration is included with the hosted exchange platform, there is no cost for the MSP. This means that any upfront fees for the migration are 100% revenues for the business. Many MSP’s and IT providers that currently provide Exchange migrations are just continuing with their normal fee structure. If you currently do not have a fee structure, we outline some ideas and options in the next section.

Recurring Monthly Fee Option:

Many MSP’s are beginning to offer easy payment options built into their managed or cloud services. This option allows customer to signup for services and get the work done, without having to come out of pocket for an initial project cost. The advantage for many is an easier sale to customers, and the advantage of a continuous recurring revenue stream, which continues to grow over time. In this scenario there is no real end game for the customer. Most will continue to pay the monthly fee until they no longer need the service, “and who doesn’t need email?”

Pricing is straightforward. Determine what you would normally charge for this service as a project. We generally see prices from our partners, which range from $200 to $2000+, depending on the size of the user base. ($100 per user is a good start if you are unsure of what to charge.)

Once you have determined this price, it is a matter of dividing that price over the amount of months you have signed an agreement with your customer for. For instance, if you were to charge a $1000 project fee, and the agreement length is 36 months, divide $1000 by 36 to get an add-on of $27.00mo. You can break this down even further by then dividing that number by the total users. If you have 10 users just divide $27 by 10, this means you will add an additional $2.70 to each hosted exchange mailbox for the life of the contract and beyond.

What all of this means for your business is you will make “loads of cash,” and unlike comparative solutions like Office 365 or other competitors, you are not required to handle the migration yourself, or outsource to expensive solution companies that provide services to these vendors. This gives you a major advantage over your competitors, and allows you to build and grow your business even further.


September 13, 2013

How do you know when to kill your migration plan?

Filed under: Consulting, How To — Carlos @ 9:30 am

detoursMigrations are for the most part painful, tedious, and time consuming. The aforementioned reasons to the left are why nobody likes to do them. But migrations are necessary, be it because of the software enhancements or hardware replacements. Generally, IT Departments have to “sell” migrations to business owners because they’ve made their money not spending it but saving it meticulously. However, they don’t understand that you’re seeing signs of their 5 year old server starting to die and THAT will cost them more.

The most important aspect of migrations becomes communication and to extend beyond that, the communication of expectations. Because if you don’t establish any or incorrect ones, as the service provider, you’ve now effectively under delivered, regardless of what you did. And what’s worse, that under-delivery may cost you a client. The biggest mistake people make during a migration is based around timing. In order to win a bid you claim to be able to do it faster, which you may be able to do, but at that point you’ve likely cut your error window.

By personal policy, I always err on the side of caution; I make sure my migrations take as long as needed to be as smooth as possible. And even then, they’re never smooth. You can come up with the world’s longest checklist and something unexpected will happen. But that in itself is the reason to still come up with that long list, because it’ll still limit the unexpected events.

Now that we have covered the aspect of planning for the unexpected, how do you handle the unexpected when it does happen? The first thing you do is a best effort quantification of its effect of your timelines. Regardless of the outcome of that you let your customers know what happened, what you’re doing, and most importantly what it means to them/their data/their email and how it affects their timeline if any.

The hardest decision to make during a project is when to cancel and regroup. This is tough because of two aspects, you’ll be doubling your work cost and primarily because it’s not really your call as much as you’d like it to be. Our rule of thumb is, if the alternate is NOT guaranteed to be successful we don’t do it. If it causes an outage during primetime for that company, we won’t do it. But ultimately, you must involve the business owner if think you’re going to cut it close and come up with a plan. Luckily on our platform, we have business continuity embedded into all of email solutions so any migration involving our email service will always come with a built in plan B.

Carlos Lascano


September 12, 2013

Selling your clients the dream.. The cloud

Filed under: Business Tips, Consulting, Hosted Services, How To — Anastasia @ 9:45 am

It’s here, the end-all be-all! As many of you may know we have some big things going on here at ExchangeDefender. Just last week we announced our new plan for managed migrations. In case you missed it, we are now going to start doing your migrations for you at no additional cost! That’s right; we will do the work for you. This new service will save you time as well as making you more profitable. Here’s what managed migrations can offer for you!

- No more long hours: We wanted to make this as easy and seamless as possible. No longer will you have to spend countless hours on migrating mail, we take care of it for you. With less time spent on migrations you will be able to focus on generating new business. More business equals more money.

- 100 percent profit- Not only will you be able to increase revenue by saving time, you’ll also be able to pocket the entire cost of the migrations and not have to put in any work yourself. And no longer will your techs have to spend their time doing migrations, thus leaving you with additional revenue. When you spend less time managing the clients infrastructure you are able to focus on helping them with other aspects of their business.

- Less Headaches- Whether you’ve been in the industry for 20 years or 2 years, you know the Cloud is the next big thing. The cloud makes it easy and simple to manage your clients. ExchangeDefender offers a central admin console and we give you the control. You don’t have to worry about someone within the company trying to mess with things; you are the only one in control and with the ability to access their accounts.

It’s important for you to see the value in this service, but what about your customers? How do you convince your client to make the switch?

- Value : When upgrading or switching their infrastructure, many small business owners are very price conscious and only willing to do the bare minimum. Your clients will only pay for what they see value in and e-mail, after all is an essential function for day to day business activities. Upgrades to their filer server and ActiveDirectory can be costly and timely, something most owners are not willing to deal with. These are not changes that impact daily business activities, so appeal to their needs.

- Redundancy- With ExchangeDefender’s redundancy in place, our services are much more reliable than a SBS that has a single point of failure. So in the event something does happen we are redundant , which allows your clients to continue working as normal .

- Price- The cloud is a significantly cheaper alternative to SBS servers. First, there is the cost of the server, and then there is the maintenance and what about if the server goes down? These are all additional cost incurred by the business that they could be allocating elsewhere. Not to mention the space it takes up.

Next week I’ll discuss how to price the solution. You’ll need to understand what others are charging and strategies for presenting to the customer. The first step in this process is you, as the partner understanding the comparisons. When presenting this offer to clients, you are not comparing apples to apples if you’re presenting ExchangeDefender vs. the bare bones competition solution, you’re comparing apples to oranges. So don’t be fooled by the competition.

For more information, please contact me at : Anastasia@ownwebnow.com or 877-546-0316 x 739.


September 10, 2013

Taking the Worry out of Selling ExchangeDefender Hosted Exchange

Filed under: Business Tips, Consulting, Hosted Services — vlad @ 8:30 am

By now, there should be little argument left about the disadvantages of moving your clients messaging platform to the cloud. From a MSPs point of view, hosted email is a no brainer. Very little knowledge of the technology is required to start offering a hosted exchange solution to your client base. In fact, the only skills you need to possess to open an entirely new revenue stream for your business is the ability to type and follow directions. What I want to express to you now is that you don’t need to be an Exchange Administrator, or even need to know how the technology works for you to offer a hosted Exchange solution to your clients. Having ExchangeDefender takes away all the headaches of having to setup, maintain, and support your hosted Exchange clients.

How ExchangeDefender’s Hosted Exchange Benefit both You and Your Client
The benefits for you as an MSP are relatively simply to understand: It allows your business to expand its technical offerings; which in turn, adds an additional revenue stream coming into your company. The advantages for your client is that they can finally stop worrying about that single point of failure called a server sitting in the supply closet. ExchangeDefender consists of 40 data centers worldwide and offer many services such as email hygiene, LiveArchiving, and mobile device support using ActiveSync technology built directly into our hosted Exchange platform. Other services such as long-term compliance archiving and corporate encryption can be easily added on when requested. ExchangeDefender has everything you need to offer your clients a reliable and compliant messaging platform.

Email Setup and Migration
By partnering with ExchangeDefender as your messaging solutions provider, you receive unsurpassed support in setting up and migrating your clients existing messaging platform to ExchangeDefender’s global network. The most important item to remember when talking to your clients about migrating their existing email is to constantly communicate with them—step by step. This should be accomplished in a sit down meeting with the necessary people in your clients firm. Your biggest job is to assure your client that no emails will be lost, mail will continue to flow, and that downtime will be kept at a minimum. All of this can be achieved by simply keeping them in the loop. Providing them with workflow documentation as to how the migration will occur will greatly reduce their worries of not being able to access their email for an extended period of time. Explain to them that their mail will be moved, the MX mail records will be modified, and Outlook/mobile devices will be configured. The benefit to you, the partner, comes from the recent announcement of ExchangeDefender’s new Migration Service for Solution Providers. This service allows you and your techs to concentrate on other projects in your business while ExchangeDefender handles your client’s mail migration and support for you.

Wrapping It All Up (with a Bow on Top)
Steve Jobs was quoted many times in his life. One of my favorite quotes of his was. “People don’t know what they want until you show them.” How can your clients know what is technologically best for their company if you never show them or talk to them about it. Most MSPs I talk to and know are sadly leaving money on the table because they are scared of the technology necessary to pitch solution to their clients. ExchangeDefender is removing all those barriers for your company. By partnering with ExchangeDefender, you can comfortably offer a secured and compliant messaging solution with migration and support services included.

Michael Alligood


September 9, 2013

What to do when you don’t have to worry about a Migration?

Filed under: Business Tips, Consulting — vlad @ 8:57 am

CEO Preface: While discussing and planning the migration and support services you found out during our last webinar, many of our partners were at the same time concerned and excited about what they could do with the time that would be freed up with someone else taking care of support and migration. Aside from the fact that the migration project is done on your behalf and you can (and should and will!) still bill for it, here are some things to think about as we get suggestions from our partners that are on board with this project already.

For many MSP’s and IT solution providers, Exchange migrations have been a long, sometimes frustrating, and tedious task. At times, when things go awry, the migration can lead to upset customers and cause rifts in a fragile relationship, leaving little opportunity to pursue additional sales. This has some IT companies instead, cleaning up, apologizing, and heading for the hills. But, what if you didn’t have to worry about doing a migration? Then what?

ExchangeDefender recently announced a new migration service for partners selling the XD Hosted Exchange platform. This exciting new service will free up tech time and sales cleanup by handling all aspects of the migration from beginning to end, providing immediate revenues and additional opportunities.

It should be no surprise that happy customers buy more. Keeping customers happy through the initial phases of a transition, cutover, installation, or rip and rebuild can be difficult. But, when you don’t have a migration project to worry about, the focus can shift to the customer and less on the work.

This is important, especially for new customers, but even for long time customers where you have built trust. The reason is that often time’s customers can feel uninformed or left out of the process when a project is underway. This is not, by any means on purpose by the provider; instead it is the byproduct of the need to stay within the job-costing model without eating into to revenues when a project goes beyond its initial scope.

So some things to do when you don’t have to worry about a migration are:

1. Focus on The Customer – This can be things like providing regular updates, visiting the site, bringing by lunch or donuts for the office, or just giving that extra bit of attention you may not have otherwise been able to provide.

2. Provide Additional Recommendations- When you aren’t focused on the project at hand, you can take more time to look around and see what else needs attention. Revisit your initial walkthrough and discuss any further products or services the customer may require.

3. Talk with Individual Employees- If there is one surefire way to learn and understand what is really going on with the network, it is to ask an employee. Spend some time talking to employees and asking questions regarding the computers and network to get a better idea of what types of solutions may be needed.

4. Find your next Customer- With all of the time saved not having to deal with a migration project; you surely have time to go find your next cloud customer. Work on your marketing plan, cold calling, or revisit previous customers that couldn’t afford server options.

The one thing that all of these examples have in common is the fact that they all revolve around creating additional revenues. Far too often, IT companies get beat up during a project, leaving little opportunity to drive more sales. One of the many advantages to having the migration process handled by the vendor is that there will be more time for the customer. Beyond this, most IT companies charge for the migration, which creates immediate revenue for the provider.

Building a good relationship foundation with the customer is the key to selling additional services. When projects are handled with a concise, thought out, and well executed process; they are more likely to leave the customer with a desire to continue improvement.

Frank Gurnee


Older Posts »