Do IT Smarter, owned by ClearPointe, is exiting the Master MSP (managed services provider) business, according to multiple sources. Do IT Smarter recently sent an email to its MSP partners, informing the companies that they had 30 days to move off of Do IT Smarter's systems. Here's the update -- along with a bigger question: What's the future of the Master MSP business model?
First, the chatter: Do IT Smarter had a U.S. network of roughly 150 local service provider partners when ClearPointe acquired the company in October 2010. The Do IT Smarter services included a network operations center, help desk services, remote monitoring and McAfee-related email security services.
A recent email to Do IT Smarter's partners stated the company was ending its MSP services. The email also identified Spam Soap, another McAfee partner, as a potential destination for IT service providers moving off of the Do IT Smarter system. I've reached out to ClearPointe for comment and will let readers know if/when the company responds.
Making the MoveLeonard DiMiceli, director of channel sales at Spam Soap, confirmed that Spam Soap has acquired a considerable number of former Do IT Smarter partners in recent weeks. But Spam Soap's DiMiceli declined to speculate about Do IT Smarter's business status.
Elsewhere, additional sources say McAfee has mounted a campaign to ensure Do IT Smarter's email security partners remain on McAfee-developed security software and related services supplied by the channel.
Difficult Market?Do IT Smarter's change of direction begs the question: What's the future of the master MSP business model? In 2008 and 2009, MSPmentor spent considerable time promoting the master MSP concept, wherein a seasoned MSP offers aspiring MSPs and VARs a portfolio of hosted services, tools and training expertise. In theory, master MSPs were designed to help aspiring MSPs to generate monthly recurring revenues.
But in some cases, the master MSP business model has proven challenging. Some master MSPs underestimated the cost and time required to acquire and train VARs as MSPs. Recent master MSP casualties have included MSP Services Network (MSPSN), which closed its doors earlier this year.
Signs of SuccessStill, there are some clear signs of success in the master MSP market. One prime example: Virtual Administrator, a master MSP spun out of Network Depot, now services VARs and MSPs in nearly all 50 states... perhaps even all of them. During a luncheon at CompTIA Breakaway this week, Virtual Administrator's executive team sounded upbeat about business.
Elsewhere, some master MSPs have evolved their businesses. An example includes Cloud Services Depot (formerly SecureMyCompany), which positions itself as s a distributor of managed services software and private-label services for MSPs.