Master MSPs: 2010 Reality Check

master MSP reality checkWhen we compiled our latest MSPmentor 100 survey results, I was surprised to see 18.2 percent of survey participants consider their companies Master MSPs. I must concede: I'm skeptical of that figure. It sounds somewhat inflated to me... like a stretch goal that many MSPs have yet to fulfill. Here's an update on the Master MSP market, including a FastChat video conversation with Do IT Smarter President Lane Smith.

Generally speaking, Master MSPs offer training, education and hosted services to VARs and aspiring MSPs. The Master MSP market certainly has its share of successes.

But are there dozens and dozens of Master MSP success stories? Frankly, I don't think so. Back in early 2008, I was guilty of hyping the Master MSP market. I thought it would be a natural opportunity for many MSPs that wanted to guide other solutions providers into the managed services market. For the most part, I think I was wrong.

Why? Here's one potential reason: I think some master MSPs found it too expensive to target, recruit and convert solutions providers into MSPs. Still, the master MSP market has multiple successes (as I've pointed out above). And there are signs new Master MSPs may enter the market. One example involves Cisco channel partners that provide Cisco-certified NOC services to peer VARs and MSPs. HEIT, another MSPmentor 100 company, seems to be moving in that direction.

If you're aware of additional, successful Master MSPs then please alert me. I'd welcome the opportunity to reach out to those additional sources.

A Closer Look

Still not sure what a Master MSP does? The four FastChat videos below offer some guidance. The most recent one features Do IT Smarter President Lane Smith. Further below are 2009 interviews with VirtualAdministrator, Ingram Micro Seismic and MSP Services Network.

Do IT Smarter's Lane Smith

The video covers:
0:00 Introduction
0:15  Overview of Do IT Smarter and Master MSP model
1:17   How Do IT Smarter assists VARs and MSPs
2:07 Do IT Smarter's anticipated moves for 2010
2:53 More information
3:11  Conclusion

Virtual Administrator

This video goes back a bit to to July 2009. Virtual Administrator's Chris Amori's thoughts remain timely and on point.

The video covers:
0:00 Introduction
0:13  Who is Virtual Administrator?
0:31 What makes Virtual Administrator unique?
1:03 Key Virtual Administrator offerings
1:35 More information
1:45 Conclusion

Ingram Micro Seismic

This interview, from November 2009, offers some background on Ingram Micro Seismic.

The video covers:
0:00  Introduction
0:15  What is Ingram Micro Seismic?
1:45  How tech experts become MSPs
3:33 Is Seismic for small or midsize businesses?
5:30 More information
5:50 Conclusion

MSP Services Network

This video, shot in December 2009, profiles incoming MSP Services Network CEO Gerard Kane. Please note: The video was a beta test of our online FastChat video technology. So please pardon some of the rough edges from this early approach.

The video covers:
0:00 – Intro
0:16  - Meet Gerard Kane, incoming MSPSN CEO
1:00 – MSPSN’s business explained
1:30 – Committing to partnerships
1:46 – What attracted Kane to this deal and who’s the ultimate buyer?
2:46 – Kane’s channel experience
4:20  - Who’s financing the deal?
4:40 – Will MSPSN Founder Amy Luby remain involved?
5:20 – Is MSPSN healthy and growing?
5:30 – What type of multiple or price premium did MSPSN fetch?
7:00 – More info
7:24 – Conclusion
TAGS: Financing
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