Let's talk labor pricing, any MSP here?

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by marley1, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. marley1

    marley1 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,448
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2000
    So what are people charging and who is a MSP here? We decided on Level Platforms but trying to think of pricing structures. I think we need to have a light package and a full package. Full would include everything included but lite would maybe just be monitoring

    Any help is appreciated I know I talked to a few over pm but hoping to spark a bigger debate
     
  2. hawk82

    hawk82 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,470
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2001
    .folder

    I've been debating about providing MSP type pricing structure for my IT consulting business.
     
  3. marley1

    marley1 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,448
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2000
    I know we have alot of MSP on here. Some are doing like $100/user/month for the All You Can Eat, others are dong like $50/workstations, $200/server...
     
  4. dave99

    dave99 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,129
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    I'm pretty close to the 50/station & 200 server range. I'll adjust up or down a bit on how much of a pain in the ass a client will be to work with. This includes monitoring and offsite backup (nightly rsync) for the servers.
     
  5. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    11,330
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    I started out doing a flat rate based on several factors....
    *Size of clients network...how many servers, how many nodes.
    *Single location, or multiple locations, WAN tunnels?
    *Lotta remote/home users?
    *LOB software....any, some, how many, frequency of updates and maintenance
    *Condition and age of servers and workstation. Good biz grade line of business models, or Best Buy specials, or worse....home grown cloners/
    *Location to you, ease of how you will support them
    *Strictly 9-5 needs, or is it an office that may demand your time at 8 or 9 PM and weekends?

    You learn to judge the above things with experience. But even then, I still like to spend some time with a "new" client on a billable basis until I get a better feel for them...because you'll get to know the end users...if they're needy or not, or rather self sufficient.

    *1 client....nursing home, 1,000 bucks/month. 4 servers, 35 workstations/laptops, fairly low maintenance.
    *1 client, womens shelter, 1,000 bucks/month. 1 main location and 5 satellites w/vpn tunnels. About 40 nodes total, just 1 server, SBS. Fairly low maint...but the tunnels need frequent rebooting to reestablish.
    *Accounting office, 9 PCs, 2 servers. Very quite for 8 months of the year, but towards end of year, and into tax season, I'm there a bit doing updates. $400/month. They just added a couple of staff so I should bump up their monthly.
    *A small foundation split into 2 offices. Different states. 1 in NYC, 1 near me. Just 4 peeps at one location, and 5 at another location. $500.00 per month....plus billing for my travel time and expense. They're turning out to be needier than I originally thought, may end up letting them go.

    So those prices are just for my time and labor. Additional projects above and beyond what the agreement covers are quoted. Example...that small foundation branch office, they've been setup basically just peer to peer (well..technically, domain..setup through tunnel to NYC office)...but 1x girls workstation acts as a server for the office. I'm installing a new PowerEdge 2k8 server this week...easy peasy job, but quoted 1500 labor. Will take over the hosting duties of the files that the branch office uses, as well as be a DC for the SBS box at the main NYC office..just to have a copy of AD offsite.

    We offer additional services....such as e-mail filtering and outbound services for their Exchange Servers (we charge for that), and offsite backup (we charge for that), antivirus (we charge for that).

    Log your hours, work spent. After 6 months or a year or so go by...look at the time spent each month, get an average, and compare that to the price you're charging. See if you're coming out ahead, just breaking even, or losing badly. Adjust price accordingly.

    My colleague, as you know from your e-mails with him, took on N-Able and has been pushing that. I've not warmed up to that yet....it's like...I started doing home-grown MSP the old fashioned way and I'm still happy with that path.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  6. Captain Colonoscopy

    Captain Colonoscopy 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,863
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    We use Level Platforms and honestly I'm not that impressed with it after having used it for two years. They've made significant improvements but there are some things it just doesn't do. Of course, the ConnectWise integration is nice.
     
  7. marley1

    marley1 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,448
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2000
    What didn't you like about it? From our demo and support it seems better than the others I looked at.

    And what are you charging?
     
  8. Captain Colonoscopy

    Captain Colonoscopy 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,863
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    I haven't really looked at the other solutions. I'm just a consultant with no involvement in the day to day operations of the product. I get emails and phone calls when my client's stuff is down or generates alerts. We get a lot of false positives for a few clients, that is really aggrevating. Supposedly Level is working on it with our MSP team but that has been nearly a month and I still get 10-15 emails a day saying this particular system is down. It has neat remote support capabilities and generates a lot of snazzy looking reports. I'm just not a huge fan of the product. I have no idea if it's any better or worse than competitors.

    As for what we charge, it's confusing. Some clients we rape, others we lose money on. Some clients are monitoring only, so we just call or email when there is a problem and then they decide if we will fix it or not. Others we agree to say one day a week of on-site support for $4,800/month with monitoring, access to help desk and ConnectWise portal, pro-active support of servers and workstations firewall monitoring and remediation, etc. It's a mixed bag really. I think I have one client we bill for $200/month and they have a server and four workstations. It's monitoring only. They never respond to alerts and they continue to pay the bill every month.
     
  9. Tee

    Tee Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    224
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    I know a lot of other small MSP's moving away from Level Platforms to Kesaya. I don't like either of them but that is just me. I am a Zenith Infotech user and I love the product and the other added on products they give me.

    As far as connectwise I think its garbage and it is much simpler at least with the Zenith product to just create easy to read reports and you can just give people access to the site and they can see for certain they are getting what they paid for.

    Billing we do $25 a desktop $150 a server and that is all you can eat. We do not charge extra fee's for overtime or AV.

    Feel free to message me a lot of my background is in MSPs.
     
  10. stiltner

    stiltner [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,654
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2000
    Is that per month, per incident, per hour?

    We run on 2 tiers, 1 for remote and 1 for onsite work. Instore is same price structure as remote, thats really about it, all billed hourly unless its project work, then its quoted out on a full job basis and discounts are given for followup service within x days of the install being completed. OT is 150% of base rate, but the techs get the 50% bump, not the company.

    We do flat rate work, but only if its 3rd party contracted stuff (aka vendor warranty work), and that's not common enough to really consider it valid.

    We use Packettrap for monitoring, my only recommendation is don't.
     
  11. zEp

    zEp n00b

    Messages:
    51
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Connectwise is a PSA like Tigerpaw, Autotask, and etc. It is Not a MSP/RMM package but these integrate with it. It takes a lot of time to get proficient with it but the payoff in automation is huge. Hard to explain if you have not experienced what a properly setup PSA can do for a small business.

    I has plenty of issues like everything but I think it is best you can get unless you spend 500k to make your own with MS CRM.
     
  12. Tee

    Tee Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    224
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    @Stiltner our fee's are monthly.

    @Zep I realize what connectwise is and I should of explained my point a little better. What I was getting at is the reporting function that are provided in the Zenith Infotech tool are much better than what connectwise provides. The only thing I believe connectwise is better at is sending reports but that is me. I have also used Tigerpaw and Autotask because I thought we really needed one of these systems in place for more automated reporting but that was not so much true after I took the time to look away from those products that are just easy snap-in's.