Three canvases for MSPs to make communication work with clients

Posted by Denes Purnhauser on Jun 20, 2016 3:28:15 AM

In vCIO, Sales, ReframeYourClients, MSP, MSP bestseller series, Virtual CIO, CIO, consultative sales

MSP communication problemHaving been inspired by the business model canvas, we started our own IT Management Canvas almost three years ago. We’re thrilled to see how creatively people adopt the canvas with the related questionnaire and instigate vibrant client engagement. Through our development of vCIO and IT Security related assessments, the new canvases have been born. Let's check out the revision of the original IT management Canvas, the IT Security Canvas and the vCIO Canvas.


IT Management Canvas

The 7C canvas is our original IT Management Canvas, developed to display and investigate the entire performance of a client’s IT, rather than just the traditional infrastructure. It elevates the conversation from the nuts and bolts to the business context of their IT, creates an IT Development Roadmaps, and enables development of business-minded IT strategies.

The original ITCq questionnaire can help the Account Manager, Virtual CIO or sales executive to assess a client's maturity. This is then used for traditional audits, maintaining internal compliance and in the continuous effort to make their IT more business focused.

The main strength of the canvas lies in its ability to make a client’s IT more relevant and facilitate a conversation around the current state of their system and opportunities they could exploit. It helps get aligned on the mission with your clients, differentiate your company when meeting your prospects, and generally enhance engagements.

Analysis of the ITCq will direct problems to services like general IT support, managed firewall, Office 365, virtualization, vCIO, Application Management and other IT related services.

Download the canvas in a PDF format

7C Canvas


IT Security Canvas

For many MSPs the natural progression is toward Managed IT Security focus. The challenge involved here is to find the balance between the very high-level services like compliance, documentation, audits, training, and the low-level intrusion detection, risk management and a vast array of other technical details.

The IT Security Canvas creates this balance, including Human Resources Management, Access Control, Service Control, Risk Management, Network Protection, End Point Protection and Policy and Compliance as main aspects of concern.

We created a questionnaire to assess and score the client's IT Security, and score the seven security dimensions together. It works the same - you put a widget on your website and clients and prospects can click to complete the questionnaire, and you get their scores.

By nature IT security is a complex issue, and thus difficult to disseminate to the untrained masses - your clients.  Again the canvas is a big help to exhibit for the client in one page all the main aspects of their IT security. It dramatically assists in understanding this broad subject.

It also directs problems and missing pieces to IT Security services, such as IT Compliance, Risk Management, Intrusion detection, Managed Email Security, Managed Desktop Security and so on, mixed with consultative and technical services.

Download the Canvas in PDF format

IT Ssecurity Canvas


vCIO Canvas

In the case of handling the traditional Account Management (or as we call it, vCIO Light) services, the 7C IT Management Canvas is more than enough. The more sophisticated stand-alone vCIO packages ranging from $1.500 MRR to $6.000 MRR, however, need more support. We created a separate questionnaire for assessing their IT management maturity and a Canvas to handle the elements visually.

We make the IT Management and Leadership visual through the building blocks. IT Vision, IT Readiness, IT Project Management, IT Leadership, IT Governance, IT Plan and IT Execution are the main elements of this Canvas.

The focus here is on the comprehensive management of IT. When you find a gap, a misunderstanding or other issue, usually one of the vCIO services will be the solution, such as budgeting, vendor management, or solution selection.

Again the same purpose applies: the questionnaire helps us gauge their maturity and identify their problems, and directs them to specific services.

Download the vCIO Canvas in PDF format

vCIO Canvas

 

Conclusion

The common challenge in all these approaches is getting across the idea of how much needs to be taken care of, the myriad benefits and critical risks of such a technical subject, usually not well understood by the client. If we don’t start with a platform of engagement and education we’ll miss the chance to help them. We are the ones in the know, so we must be the ones who get the message out.

Your success depends on proper understanding and communication with your clients and prospects.

Are you frustrated about growing your MSP? Release the steam now!