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Working from home brings opportunities

· 4 min read

Like many company leaders, due to government lock-downs, I’ve been forced into a change of scenery. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share some ideas and experiences from my background in business. We’re all in this together, I hope my ideas are useful to you in some way.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

- Winston Churchill

Find the opportunity

Many of your customers have just had their world upended. Some businesses have been forced to close, but many others are adjusting to working from home. This creates opportunities for MSP’s.

Remote workers have specific needs. Laptops & mobile hardware, secure connections, video conferencing, collaboration, virtual meetings, remote support. These are all the new normal. Instead of predictable, tidily configured office environments, people are suddenly working from home in much less predictable and considerably less-secure environments.

The Guardian reported on a surge in hacking as workers take corporate computers out of the office and work from home. ABC News reported on techniques are being used to hack video conference calls within the Zoom App. There are many other reports of increased hacking, malware and even direct cyber attacks on hospitals at this time.

The working-from-home revolution creates a huge opportunity for managed service providers. The three main opportunities are Remote Support, Cloud Services and Backup. Backup is going to be particularly important. People can no longer rely on data being centralized in office servers, NAS or SAN devices. We are seeing an unprecedented dispersion of data. Cloud computing can solve this to an extent, but there is an increasing demand to keep copies of critical data in one centralized location.

It’s critical to listen to customers at any stage, but none more than now

Now is a great time to get the attention of your customers and talk to them about how you can support their business through this new revolution. Smart businesses will embrace this and call it an opportunity. Others will be overcome by the size of the challenge. Successful MSP’s will thrive in this new environment as will many of their customers.

Getting started

Identify your most affected customers. You can probably filter your customer base using your knowledge of their workforce size and type of business.

Make a list of work-from-home tools you can provide. You already have a suite of great services, think of the ones that are most effective in this situation.

Write one or two whitepapers about how to work from home effectively. Upload the papers to your website (good for SEO) and email an excerpt to your customers. Start with the most affected ones.

Talk to your customers. Right now, we are phoning all of our customers, wherever they are in the world. There are a lot of them and it’s taking a lot of time. That’s ok, we have time. If you haven’t heard from us yet, you can book a call.

Listen to your customers. The purpose of calling our customers is not actually to talk. It’s to listen. They’re teaching us about what we need to be doing. It’s critical to listen to customers at any stage, but none more than now.

Next time, I’m going to talk about how you may need to redeploy staff for resilience and success.

Kia mau, kia ū, otirā, kia haumaru (Hold fast, stay strong, furthermore be safe). Peter Thomas, Director, Comet Backup

Need help configuring computer backups?

A lot of our partners are using this downtime to migrate data backup customers to Comet. During this time, we are offering free hands-on support to customers wanting to migrate your computer backup customers to Comet Backup.

We can help with that.