May the Fourth be With You!

    May the Fourth be With You!

    Have you heard master? There are new Star Wars movies coming soon!

    George Lucas has brought upon the world one of the biggest sci-fi cultures to date. Even those who are not interested in the series have at least heard of the franchise. When a new movie is announced, the internet roars into a flurry of speculation and theories on everything from major plot points to the tiniest details hinted by the trailers. Young and old alike will sacrifice time, money, and sleep in a bid to be one of the first to see the newest film when it’s released this December.This doesn’t even begin to cover the investment by all of those convention-goers with costumes featuring screen-accurate detailing. The real question is: what makes these people get so deep and invested? An even bigger question is if sci-fi can do it, can IT?

    Do you know what’s more widespread than Star Wars? Passwords.

    Yeah, no thunderous applause on that one. Compared to the thrill of galactic fighter-craft and lightsaber battles, passwords and security in general are rather bland topics at best. When we try and implement new and better ways of dealing with account security, customers just tune out or push back. Why doesn’t anybody get excited that we’ve finally solved their problems with passwords?

    In the world of business, new solutions usually mean:

    • New features with steep learning curves
    • More time stolen out of their already packed day
    • New things usually cost more dollars

    That’s certainly an uphill battle. In order to get the high-ground, we need to work on three key things for our customers:

    • Save them time
    • Save them money
    • Start the fire

    Save them time

    That’s the name of the game. Most managed service providers (MSPs) are in existence solely because they can save a small business time when it comes to IT. It’s easy to see this time savings when it comes to tangible things like desktop hardware, well-dressed communications racks, or timely repairs. For things like password management, it seems easier to just put the same password in everywhere and change it by adding “1” to the end when it expires.

    If you are an MSP providing password management to customers as a service, try and give them big, visible time savings such as automating password changes from within the system. Show them how much easier it is to retrieve a stored password rather than reset the password every time they need a new one.

    Save them money

    Saving your customers money might at first look like discounting to your own services, which means your customers have more of their money, and your bank account starts looking pretty lean. Instead, look for ways to save them money in new areas by insulating them against unforeseen costs. When you can offer them a smooth single sign-on experience at any size of business, you may get a lot of pushback until you log into 7 services in 7 seconds, right in front of them. That’s a labor-cost savings they can see on a stopwatch!

    Start the fire

    When you’re talking with your customers, your tone and excitement levels will directly influence their willingness to go along with new changes. Would the masses be as excited for Star Wars if not for the super-fans? Be excited about your offerings, share the cool things you’re doing with your customers. Don’t be afraid to let them see you using your own services. They might not understand the finer points of user authentication, but it doesn’t matter because their MSP is using this really awesome solution to eliminate their need to know passwords. The media will do a great job selling the doom and gloom, you can bring balance to the force by getting people looking forward and excited.

    I’ll leave you with the wisdom of a certain green Jedi Master, and it really does make a difference in the fight to get people on board with your expanded services:

    Do, or do not. There is no try. ~Master Yoda

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