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Managed services provider The Utility Company has launched an updated menu of services, including more security options, hosted VOIP and Web content management.

The Connected Office Technology-as-a-Service Program (Connected Office 3.0) offers small and midsize businesses services covering every aspect of their IT system in five main areas: IT (network, desktop, security and storage), business applications, Web/Internet, copier/printer and telecommunications.

With the launch of Connected Office 3.0, the company will now offer expanded help desk functionality; remote monitoring and management 24/7; and increased security, storage and backup, and asset management. Utility is also hoping to gain traction with its new hosted voice over IPO, CRM (customer relationship management) and accounting system.

The firm is currently recruiting VARs and providers that want to be able to offer a managed services approach, according to the company’s founder and president, Mark Scott. Utility currently has around 40 partners and is looking to increase that to between 80 and 100 next year. “VARs don’t have to make any upfront investment to join us,” Scott said.

Pointer Click here to read more about The Utility Company’s recruitment plans.

Scott said his company offers an alternative to the current managed services model on the market. “Ours is a franchise approach,” he said. “We recruit managed services providers and VARs that then offer our complete services offering in an exclusive area and become a utility service provider on a fixed-fee basis.”

Scott, who co-founded managed services provider N-Able before launching The Utility Company, said current managed services providers offer just certain services. With the launch of Connected Office 3.0, Utility providers offer an entire system, he said. “MSPs continue to struggle with tools, staffing issues, re-engineering their back offices and so on,” Scott said. “We take all of that away and offer 90 percent of company’s IT system.” He likened The Utility Company to IBM Global Service or Accenture, but for SMBs.

“Everyone says they are an SP nowadays,” Scott said. “But most don’t actually find out how much their customer is already spending on IT and how utilized their systems are. We try to find this out in the first instance and then aim to help increase that utilization rate.”

Scott claimed that the average SMB customer spends $360 per month per user on technology, yet only 15 percent of this investment in technology is ever utilized.