What’s In Your Service Catalog?

Whenever an MSP contacts me asking for help in solving a problem, many times there are common characteristics I identify. These characteristics can become markers for issues within managed services organizations. One such characteristic is a managed services catalog. What is a service catalog? Let's find out.

Managed Services Catalog

A service catalog is a menu of your IT services offerings. Sometimes the catalog can be an actual list of defined managed services offerings. I've also seen catalogs containing bundled solutions into tiered models (silver, gold, platinum, etc.).

The purpose of a service catalog should be self-evident, but I am surprised by how many MSPs do not go through the exercise of creating one. Here are a few of the many benefits of having a managed services catalog.

Managed Services Catalog Benefits

Focused business model. Many MSPs suffer from offering too many menu options to their customers. Too many services options can result in a service delivery team which is stretched too thin and unable to specialize in anything.

Sales Scope Creep. MSPs who have a sales team and no services catalog are just asking for trouble. A rogue salesperson can over promise when they are not held responsible for what they are selling. Defining your managed services offerings can help focus your sales and marketing efforts to only those items you can deliver.

Efficiency. Doing too many things often means you were doing none of them well. Some of the best business models rely on doing a few things very well. The same should be true of managed services. Refining your managed services offerings should help your IT team become much better (and efficient).

Increased profitability. As you define your managed services catalog and become better at what you do, you should also realize an increase in your efficiency and profitability. Having a defined managed services offerings will allow you to both specialize in those services and focus your time on developing efficiencies and automation, both of which will impact your profitability.

There are other benefits to having a services catalog to be sure; these are just a few. But, if you sense that your managed services practice is not doing well, start with looking at your catalog.

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