In these uncertain post-COVID times, we all strive for extra security in all aspects of our lives. This relates to businesses as well, which are more often turning to Managed Service Providers with the main purpose to entrust their most sensitive and crucial operational activities.
In this article, we will observe RPA as one of the lucrative opportunities for MSPs, reveal the added value that ElectroNeek Robotic Process Automation can bring to a standard MSP business model, and demonstrate the common use cases of MSP activity powered by RPA:
MSPs for RPA: the time has come
The role of managed service providers in maintaining operational excellence in an organization cannot be overstated.
And it’s no surprise, given the fact that companies entrust the heaviest operational burden to them. This may include:
- IT operations
- Accounting processes
- Human resources management
- Compliance operations
- Procurement and sales operations
and many others.
Although engaging an MSP is crucial for various business functions, there is one aspect that makes its presence in a company business strategy vital: the processes an MSP deals with are usually time-consuming, mundane, and repetitive.
That sounds familiar, especially to the ElectroNeek RPA community. Yes, these three terms are very often used to define the nature of tasks automated by ElectroNeek RPA bots. Here is why the demand for MSPs powered by Robotic Process Automation is increasing rapidly for a vast number of businesses.
But what do we really know about RPA?
For many, RPA is an emerging technology that is used mostly by enterprise-level organizations. Basically, it’s been so. So far.
The situation is changing, and let us explain why.
Given the fact that historically, MSPs play a critical role in enabling SME to use complex IT technologies (like cybersecurity), and benefit from them, RPA is a blue ocean to MSPs, as it is:
- a complex technology for end-users with no dedicated IT team (=SMEs in most cases)
- easy to implement and maintain if you’re an MSP
What about the margin on RPA projects?
Spoiler: with ElectroNeek your margin may reach $10k+ per project. How? We will give a more detailed answer by the end of this article.
Now let’s take a closer look at the key reasons why businesses may need MSPs in their RPA projects.
Reasons businesses need Managed Service Providers for RPA
According to Datto’s SMB Market Report for MSPs, which surveyed over 1100 SMBs in the United States, more than 50% of small and medium-sized businesses mention the increasing complexity of IT operations among the key reasons for outsourcing.
With intelligent automation spinning up, businesses are revealing more and more reasons for engaging Managed Service Providers for RPA projects:
Focus on core business
An MSP takes ultimate control over automation processes. It means that IT teams can be engaged in more strategic tasks without spending their work hours on time-consuming activities such as discovering automation-prone processes, deploying and testing bots, fixing bugs, and executing ongoing maintenance and support. An MSP will guarantee that all business automation initiatives are being successfully implemented, and that all standards are adhered to.
Cost and risk reduction
Despite the common belief that outsourcing RPA projects may be expensive for many businesses, investing in hiring experienced RPA developers or upgrading current IT team members, navigating the jungle of new technology implementation practices, and seemingly endless testing and bug-fixing cycles can be more costly.
Also, engaging a team of a qualified MSP team with superior technical expertise would eliminate any compliance or regulatory risks.
Scalability and innovation-oriented approach
Since qualified MSP technology experts are focused on scaling the most efficient automation initiatives, working with MSPs is a guarantee that a business will not stop improving, and will regularly obtain cutting-edge updates and solutions.
MSPs for RPA projects: Use cases
Gartner predicts almost 20% growth for RPA next year. For Managed Service Providers, this means new opportunities for growth in an emerging technology that will be likely more even popular in 2021.
Below we will provide you with three use cases of RPA projects where MSP can significantly benefit by using RPA tools.
1. User setup and configuration
In addition to HR involvement, the onboarding process implies an IT department role that is responsible for user setup and configuration processes.
Setting up workstations for employees; installing software and drivers; and setting up an OS in the IT infrastructure may take up to 8 work hours when done manually, affecting both new employees and the IT team's productivity.
By using RPA bots, MSPs can automate the whole setup process, including creating lists of required software and applications for a specific user, logging into corporate systems, and setting up an email service to creating complex reports on each stage of the IT onboarding process.
2. IT data migration
The process of data migration may raise various concerns for a company in security and resource management.
This is a significant part of replacing on-premises solutions with cloud environments, or consolidating data into one data center. Most companies hand this task over to the MSP.
MSP can leverage RPA to automate the entire IT data migration process: bots can recognize XML elements and attributes, sort IT data by files and folders, create mapping documents, convert files into target formats, and map migrated data fields to target tables and fields
3. Virtual machine setup and maintenance
Installing and updating software and drivers, and setting up an operating system may take a significant amount of IT department time and resources.
RPA can significantly reduce the time spent on setup and maintenance of virtual machines for employees.
MSPs may use bots to accelerate these processes for their clients by automating, building and installing the required software, drivers, and OS; setting up email service and corporate accounts; executing tasks required to configure workstation parameters; and creating troubleshooting reports.
ElectroNeek and MSPs: building a win-win business model together
Now that we have a better understanding of how MSP can leverage RPA to its advantage, let's take a closer look at the MSP business model. Examining statistics again, it is worth noting that in 2020, small companies in the U.S. increased their spending on MSP services by more than 15%.
What does it mean?
Businesses don’t want to spend time on choosing and deploying software, they just want their automation and data processing issues to be solved by trusted service providers.
But how does it work for MSPs? How can MSPs benefit from working on RPA projects in terms of the market share?
The thing is, that the traditional MSP business model implies that MSPs push software costs to the end-user. The client needs to purchase software even if they just want the automation to fill some specific gap in their IT ecosystem. This scheme does not seem cost-efficient, as clients have to pay both the vendor and the implementation partner.
Why do we assume that MSPs can build a win-win model with ElectroNeek? Because we rethought this approach and came up with the idea of unbundling bot runners (software that enables execution of RPA workflows) from other product components (bots themselves, for instance).
This means that, now, by partnering with ElectroNeek, MSPs can make money on development and maintenance. What about the bots development cost?
With ElectroNeek, MSPs get limitless bots for free and can deploy them in any environment.
So instead of a typical margin of around 10% for resold RPA bot licenses (e.g. $1k per RPA project with other RPA vendors), MSPs can take the whole budget for the development, to capture an additional $6-$10k+ per bot they build.
We bet this approach will be a game-changer in the RPA market and we invite MSPs to enjoy the fruits with us.
As a final note
In this article, we’ve defined what Managed Service Providers are, identified the main reasons why businesses address MSPs, observed the common use cases of MSP activity powered by RPA, and revealed the revolutionary MSP business model of ElectroNeek RPA.
In a nutshell, ElectroNeek allows MSPs to cast aside the burden of software licenses from their clients, allowing them to buy a service, not software, eliminating a lengthy IT procurement process. This approach breaks any RPA entry barriers for MSPs and encourages even smaller MSPs to win big in the automation market.