Four Managed Services Stories Worth Noting

I've been tied up at the N-able Partner Summit and CompTIA Managed Services Summit. They are great events, but that also means I've overlooked a few things going on elsewhere in the managed services world this week. Here four other managed services stories I wish I had spent more time covering:

1. Managed Services In the Mid-market: This has been a hot topic at the N-able Partner Summit and CompTIA event, and several readers have sent me emails asking if managed service providers can push high into the mid-market. I'll spend more time on this next week.

2. Managed Services Appliances: I blogged about the hybrid on-premise/SaaS business model last week. Then, I ran into itControl Solutions Inc. at the managed services summit. The company develops a managed services appliance that VARs deploy on customer premises. The appliances feed information back to itControl's own data center, and VARs can access the information from a Web browser.

The financial model intrigued me: itControl charges VARs a monthly flat fee for the appliance (no per node or per user costs) -- yet VARs can charge more and more for their service as more users come online.

3. Microsoft's Financials: I haven't had time to dig through Microsoft's SEC filings to see if the company's latest quarterly results say anything about the shift to SaaS and cloud computing, and the potential risk/reward to shareholders. The filings may not mention SaaS at all ... but I always like to look.

4. Hosted Lotus Notes: IBM has introduced a SaaS version of Lotus Notes.  I haven't had time to check out the partner/channel strategy. Most SaaS service providers I know are promoting either Exchange Server or open source alternatives (Zimbra). Good to see IBM in the game, but I need to learn more.

Time to head back to the N-able Partner Summit, then I'm off to Australia. More updates to follow today.

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