Monday, September 17, 2007

Final Thoughts: Managed Services In a Month

[ KP Note: The entire "Managed Services in a Month" series has been collected, collated, and indexed. Still free. You may access it now at ]

Well, there you have it. The Karl Palachuk Brain Dump on Managed Services.

It's not everything, of course. And it's not perfect, of course. But it really should be enough to kick-start your life as a managed service provider.

Please don't forget two key messages here:

1) Get off your butt.

2) Managed service is not a fad or a thing you do. It's the future.

Ten years ago "remote support" consisted of telephone support for everyone except the largest corporations. It was very rare in the mid-market and virtually unheard of in the SMB space. Now Cousin Larry the Trunk Slammer does remote support with ease.

Patch management of any kind used to be a labor intensive pain in the neck. Now there are competing tools all over the place, ranging from free to absurdly expensive.

Just as technology changes, so does the business process and the business of delivering service.

Unfortunately, our business will always be full of part-timers and amateurs. But I believe our future is one in which the SMB market will be segmented between clients who can tolerate downtime and clients who can't. Those that can't will eventually all move to what we now call managed services.

Depending on how long you've been in this business, you might remember when clients argued about whether they needed anti-virus software. Not so many years ago, we put that on quotes and clients argued about whether it was really necessary. Today it's just part of what it means to have a computer connected to the internet.

Managed service, including remote monitoring, patch management, and remote support will be as ubiquitous as anti-virus in five years.

What kind of business doesn't have anti-virus today? The kind that's not your client!

What kind of business won't use a managed service provider in the future? Same answer.

The future is coming. Every day it becomes a little clearer.

Someday you'll have Office 2007 on every desktop.
Someday you'll have Vista on every desktop.
Someday you'll have 64 bit on every desktop.
Someday you'll have a managed service client on every desktop.

And when you're using Office 2011 and whatever 64/128 bit operating system comes after Vista (Voyeur?), you will be providing "managed services." Whether you call it that or not.

There's no better time to get in this business. Truth is, you're already in this business whether you've formalized that or not.

Pick your tools. Make a plan. Get a contract. Weed your garden. And sign 'em up!

Now get off your butt.


I didn't try to keep track of who's trying this program. The month is now more than half over.

But many of you have emailed me with your success stories. I'm sure many others have had just as much success, but haven't said a word.

The traffic on the blog site has been phenomenal. I hope you stick with it. There's some difficult "stuff" to go through. But when you come out the other end with lots of recurring revenue, it will be worth it.

Good luck.

And don't forget to email me with success stories!

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