Building an MSP Dream Team

Hey Everyone,

   We often get requests in support for "what certification should I have?". With our years of observation of the MSP space and our own experiences as an MSP, I've been tracking some consistencies across successful and growing MSP teams.  Here's what we're seeing as some staffing building blocks for success with MSPs offering DaaS/AVD and utilizing Nerdio Manager for MSP (NMM):

Bring out the A-Team:

Team composition is key.  There are a lot of moving parts in AVD and DaaS, but Nerdio can minimize the effort needed here giving your team the capacity to focus on those "MSP" roles for the customer.  Here's what we're seeing successful MSPs have on their squad:

Dedicated Sales Staff /"The Quoter":

I'm not a salesperson, I'm technical, so why is your engineer selling DaaS?  Educate sales staff on the benefits of DaaS, learn the ins and outs of the Nerdio Cost Estimator, and what a quote/build can look like for a potential customer.  This may take some training with a project manager/onboarding engineer (that position coming up next).   Nail down the cost of delivering DaaS in a package to present to leads.  Consider your margins and present a realistic cost for the customer.  Try to keep these packages consistent.  You're presenting a solution to the customer, taking the authority and leading the customer to what is the best solution for them and something your team can profit from and support. The Microsoft AZ-900 exam/certification complements a salesperson role very well with Azure fundamentals. This salesperson does not need access to much in Nerdio outside of the cost estimator and can be granted the MSP Sales Role in NMM.

Project Manager/Onboarding Engineer/"The Architect":

Great MSPs have a project manager or onboarding engineer.  This should be the team your customer first engages technically.  This team should be organized, following a set process to onboard a new customer.  The initial build-out, data migration, user testing, etc. should all be fully tested and documented to the fullest.  Create a standardized playbook for onboarding a new customer to AVD.  For certifications, we recommend the Nerdio certifications (NMM-100 and NMM-200) and for Microsoft/Azure certifications AZ-104 (Azure Administrator) and AZ-140 (AVD Specialist).  This user should be a Super Admin in your Nerdio Manager for MSP install.

Systems Admin/Level 3 Support/"The Wizard":

Now that you've onboarded a customer, you're going to need to support them.  At the end of the day, users are still logging into Windows, using Active Directory, Line of Business apps, file shares, and Microsoft 365.  You're going to need a "Wizard".   Your "Wizard" is a systems admin that your Level 2 engineer can escalate to and take point on large issues.  They'll want to be well versed in Windows, FSLogix, Networking/DNS, and general Azure administration.  We would recommend the same certifications as your Project Manager/Onboarding Engineer as the handoff to support should be coming from this engineer.  Your "Wizard" may even be involved in helping the onboarding process with design and architecture support. This role can hold the responsibility of establishing and documenting your best practices/SOPs (Update cadence, image management/life cycle process, security standards, testing, etc.).  This role will straddle both support and onboarding at times, so this user may need the Super Admin role in your NMM install.

Level 2 Support/"The Guru":

Here's where we start getting into end-user support.  Level 2 support should pick up just where Level 3 ends.  Level 2 may be the person updating the image, maintaining applications and monitoring systems provided the guidance/standards established from the Level 3 "Wizard".   Your level 2 is not just serving as an escalation point for your level 1 support team, but always having their finger on the pulse of what is going on with the level 1 team.  Level 2 Support should be well versed in everything Nerdio with the NMM-100 and NMM-200 certifications and we would also recommend an AZ-140 (AVD Specialty) to have a good firm grasp of AVD technology and troubleshooting. Ticket documentation and changelog management for Level 2 are key as they will be the team that escalates to Level 3. This user should have an Account Admin or MSP IT Admin role in NMM for the accounts they would be supporting.  

Level 1 Support/"The Frontline":

Here's your front-line and customer-facing team.  The right "DNA" can overshadow technical skills when it comes to hiring for level 1 techs.  Technology can be learned and learned fast, people skills take time.  Communication skills are key to this role and a recent video from the Azure Academy highlights this. This team should be the first to be contacted with an end-user issue and good/friendly communication with the end-user can set the tone for the entirety of the support engagement.  Besides having the people skills needed, a Level 1 team should be well versed in Windows, have the Nerdio fundamentals established (NMM-100) and be very comfortable with documentation.  An AZ-140 (AVD Specialist) Microsoft certification is recommended for this team as well.  Ticket notes and regular cadence on updates will not only keep your customers happy, but your team running smoothly internally.  Summed up, look for the right person for Level 1, not just the candidate's skill set.  This user can be assigned the MSP Help Desk role in NMM for the accounts they will be supporting.  

When it comes to support, there should not be any guessing on "who did what?" Great MSPs document everything and have an entry and escalation path in place. Create some structure around the onboarding process and support roles. Build an "MSP Machine", lean into your team's strengths and feed the machine new projects. You'll find success coming out the other end and help avoid this:


Thank you,

Chuck M.

Solutions Support Manager here @ Nerdio



Comments (1 comment)

Travis Lamming

Thanks, Chuck!


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