Bill By User: Billing Precision

BY IT GLUE | September 21, 2020

Are you leaving money on the table? If you’re not billing clients with as much precision as possible, you won’t even know the answer to this question. Perhaps, one client is demanding a disproportionate level of attention from your internal resources, and while you can intuitively know this, it’s not documented and quantified, and thus, difficult to take back to the client. When billing is tied to the wrong metrics, you won’t get the degree of precision to maximize profit, and measure internal resource allocation accurately. The services level agreement may make sense in theory, but in practice you might soon realize that you’re undercharging and taking on more work than was let on.

How do you achieve more precision? Billing by user.

When your business model is based on servicing multiple clients, your billing model should take into account that no two clients are the same. While there are exceptions, a rule of thumb will be that the more end-users there are, the larger and more complex the network will be, and a higher number of service tickets will be received. When you bill by user, you’re charging clients on an apples to apples basis.

As an MSP, you are incentivized to fully understand the client’s business and provide the IT infrastructure to make them succeed, since in doing so, your revenue from the client also increases. An additional benefit is that since you’re looking at clients from a per user basis, it becomes clear which clients are thriving, and which are struggling to remain afloat. For the latter, their struggle will often bleed over to you. They will be investing less into their IT, and demanding more from you to stretch the life of the IT infrastructure that exists.

Billing by user requires a tightly knit tech stack with powerful native integrations. Consider the following:

— Do you have a tool that discovers and documents client networks so there’s no guessing about how many users and devices there are?

— Is there a level of integration between your PSA and documentation tool that unlocks the ability to bill by user in a streamlined fashion?

— Does your user list automatically update line item counts on the customer’s invoice/contract that are charged “per user”?

— Is your user/contact list in sync with the customer’s Identity Management system (Microsoft 365, Active Directory, Azure AD, etc.)?

— Are devices linked to tickets automatically when a customer requests support from a certain device?

— Is information about the customers stack (backup, anti-virus, networks, etc.) updated automatically in the documentation tool?

— Do alerts detected by your RMM tool generate tickets to your PSA?

— Does your ticketing system or RMM tool de-dupe multiple alerts from the same device?

— Is information about the customer, user, and device pertaining to a ticket shown automatically to the technician when they open the ticket?

While not an exhaustive list, these are the questions you need to ask yourself to decide whether you’re set up to bill by user. If this seems like a heavy lift, I have good news: there are three tools that, when put together, make it look easy—IT Glue, Network Glue and BMS.

For more information on IT Glue click the link below for a quick demo. If you’d like more information on how IT Glue, Network Glue, and BMS integration together, a member of the Glue Crew would be happy to go into detail.

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