By Amanda Scheldt (Tech Writer)
Savvy IT professionals understand that adopting new SaaS tools is critical to keeping their MSPs up to date and running efficiently.
Yet many often face resistance when it comes time to launching and implementing new technology for their businesses.
Let’s uncover several crucial steps MSPs must take before implementing new software.
Create An Implementation Strategy
Before jumping into a new software solution for your MSP, developing a clear implementation strategy is essential. A successful MSP can't afford to wing it when implementing changes to their SaaS products without a defined plan of action. Therefore any implementation should start by defining the solutions that this new SaaS will provide to the MSP and the clients it serves.
This implementation strategy also needs to answer questions such as: what problems will this new software solution solve? Will it provide better performance data for analysis and reporting purposes? How can it improve your MSP once implemented? These are questions that will need to be answered before moving forward with any other steps within a strategic plan for implementing new SaaS solutions.
Develop A Timeline For Implementation
It's crucial that MSPs develop a set timeline for any rollout of new software.
A solid strategic timeline will help keep things on track, ensure that deadlines are being met, that goals are staying within budget, and that everyone involved in the project is clear about what is coming next.
Timelines also need to consider various factors that can impact the roadmap. These factors can include the organization's size, the complexity of the new software, and an estimate of how many users will be Beta testing it.
Suppose you are implementing a new SaaS solution that around 100 users will utilize. In that case, the timeline would likely be smaller and less complex than a software rollout for thousands of users. Whether the implementation is large or small, having a clear timeline is critical for a successful launch. MSPs' most successful new software implementations will often have a thorough roadmap with specific milestones to be achieved throughout the process.
Specify Goals That Measure Success
MSPs should understand what a successful implementation looks like. There is a need to have specific goals, data, and metrics that will measure the rollout's success.
The implementation plan's initial phases will need to define the new software's objectives and how a successful integration should appear.
The goals and metrics that will measure success should aim to answer the questions surrounding user adoption, user retention, productivity, and satisfaction. For instance, if you anticipate the new software should help increase user productivity by 60%, and it’s not meeting that goal during a user testing phase, then addressing this issue before full implementation is key.
Think of the goals and data that measure success as a domino effect. Suppose the software is not meeting the intended goals. In that case, the likelihood of overall implementation success will fall short, causing reduced revenue and impacts on other business areas of your MSP. If users are too confused by the software, or it doesn’t increase efficiency as anticipated, this will cause retention issues and overall dissatisfaction.
Assemble a Team of Beta Testers
How does an IT Pro know a particular SaaS solution will work for their MSP? They assemble a team of Beta testers to ensure that bugs are mitigated before full implementation. MSPs should not launch a new software without a select group testing it.
A Beta testing team is going to be essential to the success of any new software rollout. The Beta testing team can help MSPs identify and fix issues before they become problems. Beta testing also helps ensure that the software works efficiently in every situation.
Beta testing sessions often involve a small group of individuals who will try out the software with instructions on performing specific tasks. The group then is asked to share their thoughts, suggestions, and feedback to help improve upon it.
In addition to providing valuable insights into how well users interact with the software, Beta testing teams also serve as exceptional ambassadors that can aid users after the software launch.
Identify Integration Needs
Identifying software integration needs before launch is another essential task for any MSP. It not only ensures that tech teams can get the most out of the new software, it also provides MSPs with the opportunity to better serve their clients by pinpointing integration needs ahead of time to avoid unplanned costs and time delays.
MSPs can also ensure a smoother integration by identifying the most critical touchpoints beforehand.
Doing this helps determine which areas of the business require the most customization. This is especially important if there are changes that could affect other departments within the company or external partners.
Allocating time to review integration and customization options of any new SaaS product can also help minimize user impact and possible security issues upon launch. This will help prevent unnecessary complications down the road.
Drive User Adoption To Your New SaaS Solution
As you begin a new software rollout, it's important to have a plan in place to drive user adoption. There are several ways to encourage user adoption of new software, which include:
1-Send out communication via email or other ways explaining the reason for the switch, the value it will provide, and the benefits of using the new software.
2-Organize webinars or training sessions for team members and clients utilizing this new software.
3-Conduct internal meetings to discuss how users can utilize the new technology.
4-Dedicate a team to help with deployment, activation, and software integration issues.
When implementing new software into an MSP, there may be some resistance from employees and clients at first. Some may not feel comfortable with making these changes. If this is the case, encourage them to try out the product on their own time or as part of their job responsibilities to gain familiarity with its features before being obligated to use it.
Have you had successful rollouts of SaaS solutions lately? How did that go? Let us know in the comments.