Opportunity: MSP Engineers On Demand

You already know about remote managed services. But during the F5 Networks Partner Summit today, I heard another twist on the managed services market -- called "Engineers on Demand." It's a simple concept that may generate incremental revenue for managed service providers. Here's the scoop.

I heard the term "Engineers on Demand" during a meeting with Mark Geer, chief operating officer of Milestone Systems Inc., a solutions provider in Golden Valley, Minn.

At first glance, Milestone isn't an MSP. Instead, the company focuses mostly on solutions-oriented project engagements.

But then the topic of staffing levels came up, and Geer offered this key piece of info: "Some of our customers run pretty thin," he said. "If they give us a heads up about [staff vacations or staff downtime], we'll cover their environment remotely as part of an annual subscription fee."

In other words, Milestone charges a fee to babysit customer networks when the primary IT managers are on vacation or distracted elsewhere. And to ensure Milestone is familiar with the network, the subscription fee includes quarterly network tuneups, patch management and other services.

That way, Milestone's engineers aren't walking into a mess when they step in to offer remote support.

I suspect a lot of MSPs are offering their own approach to Engineers on Demand. Am I correct?

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