Rise of the "Software Plus Service" Model?

I'm a firm believer that managed service providers (MSPs) must offer "feet on the street" and face-to-face interaction with customers, otherwise you risk losing close, long-term relationships. Even if you offer software as a service (SaaS), you need to force yourself to visit customers regularly (once a month to once a quarter). That's where the "software plus service" or "hybrid" business model comes into focus.

In the hybrid model, you're still installing and maintaining key on-site IT components for customers -- their network infrastructure, appliances, etc. Although I've written about the hybrid model a bit, Curt Hall offers some new thoughts and perspectives in this blog entry. Hall caught my attention because he covers the pros -- and the cons -- of software plus service, especially as it relates to big software companies serving enterprises.

I realize most of our readers are not working on big SAP enterprise projects (an area that Hall covers), but I do think small and midsize MSPs face some of the same challenges that SAP, Microsoft and others are encountering.

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