As a managed service provider, your job has probably gotten more complex in recent months as companies have had to change the way they work in response to the pandemic. That might involve moving employees from an office to home. It could also mean helping small businesses stay in operation, even when people can’t come into their businesses.

It’s a real challenge for store-front businesses and restaurants to suddenly shift from brick and mortar walk-in traffic to something more digital where customers order online and pickup curbside.

These kinds of shifts can be daunting to small business owners who lack the technical expertise to make the transition from physical operation to virtual business. As an MSP, helping run the technology side of the business, they may turn to you for help in making that switch. But it’s not easy to simply flip a switch and start a new way of operating.

Speeding up the process

Last month, Salesforce made an announcement that could help you and your clients when it introduced Salesforce Quick Start Commerce Solutions. The company designed each solution to get businesses up and running in weeks instead of months. That could make a huge difference right now when it comes to survival when it’s impossible to open.

Each package includes practical advice along with software and a service operator, who will run the site for your client. This help could last for several months until your client gets comfortable running it themselves (or they turn it over to you to run it for them).

The packages include building a consumer online shopping site to buy goods online, or a site to purchase online and pick up in-store or curbside. You could also set up a self-service B2B online store or build a site for online food ordering with curbside pickup.

Even as states begin to slowly remove restrictions on opening stores and restaurants, Salesforce research shows that two-thirds of respondents to a survey of 3500 shoppers last month say they will continue to want to shop online.

All of this means you will need to continue to find ways to serve your clients through this transition. While the Salesforce solutions offer one way to move faster, they are not the only way. It will be up to you to help your clients find solutions to move online much more quickly than they probably would have considered doing prior to the pandemic.

Photo: William Potter / Shutterstock

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Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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