Do IT Smarter is doing it. Ingram Micro Seismic is doing it. The Utility Company is doing it. And now NetEnrich is doing it. I'm referring to the increasingly popular "Master MSP" business model, where VARs leverage software as a service (SaaS), and a third-party partner hosts and coordinates the VAR's managed services platforms.
Here's the latest example, involving NetEnrich offering Level Platforms as a service to solutions providers.
According to a prepared statement from NetEnrich CEO Raju Chekuri:
NetEnrich offers a combination of outsourced NOC, hosted remote monitoring and management (RMM) and infrastructure management services that enables the reseller to craft specific services and functionality to meet the unique needs of their customers. Combining Level Platforms’ hosted technology with NetEnrich's services capabilities, guarantees ease of use and high margins for the MSP, while they retain full account control over their SMBThat's a pretty simple statement, but NetEnrich -- like its rivals -- is striving to address a pretty complex problem. Many VARs aren't prepared to fund full data center build outs and software licensing engagements. The Master MSP model allows VARs to test the managed services waters, add or remove services, and push into new areas without having to pay big up-front costs for all of the infrastructure that a traditional on-premise deployment would require.
Peter Sandiford (read his blog here), CEO of Level Platforms, hinted to me a few weeks ago that additional Level Platforms partners would soon introduce hosted managed services. I suspect NetEnrich is the first of many announcements to come.
I'm not suggesting that all Master MSP programs are the same -- surely, there are clear differences between Do IT Smarter and Ingram Micro Seismic, for instance. (Ingram, in particular, is pushing fast into hosted Microsoft applications).
Still, there are similarities among rival Master MSPs. For instance, Master MSPs strive to allow VARs to quickly introduce managed services to their customers, with no need to build new data centers or network operation centers (NOCs).
Meanwhile, some Master MSPs are blending the hosted model with the franchise model. One prime example is The Utility Company, which was launched by one of N-able's cofounders and recently announced a "Powered by Utility" partner program.
I am not endorsing any particular Master MSP service, but I think the broader trend is undeniable: VARs keep hearing more and more about software as a service (SaaS). And now, they're discovering they too can leverage SaaS in the MSP market.