EMC + SAP = One Stop for Managed Storage and Managed ERP?

If I was managed service provider, I'd target a market niche real fast and dig real deep. Or I'd go broad really fast by offering a lengthly list of managed services. The reason: Big technology companies are realizing that can no longer afford to ignore the MSP and software-as-a-service (SaaS) markets.

EMC and SAP, for instance, are discussing a potential relationship that could allow EMC to host SAP applications for small businesses. The discussions have surfaced only a few weeks after EMC unveiled a SaaS-based storage service.



I'm not suggesting that these industry titans will wipe out small MSPs and SaaS providers anytime soon. But many small MSPs have enjoyed "first mover" advantage in recent years. That era is coming to an end as big players toss their hats into the MSP and SaaS markets.

Some MSPs and hosted software providers will learn to cooperate and compete. More than 20 solutions providers, for instance, now offer SugarCRM has a hosted service -- essentially competing with SugarCRM itself.

Also of note: There's no guarantee big software companies will succeed as they push into the small business markets. While Intuit and Microsoft have strong brands in the small business sector, SAP isn't a prominent brand for small business entrepreneurs.

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