ServiceKey, a master MSP, is attracting a growing partner base with a portfolio of services that aim to address some basic end-customer needs. The Norcross, Ga. company strictly follows a channel model, providing services that VARs, integrations, MSPs and other channel partners offer under their own brand. Roughly 75 VARs and MSPs are on board. Here's the scoop.
Angela Vines, ServiceKey co-owner and VP, describes the company's offering as “a safety net of services” for maintaining, protecting and managing the end customer’s IT infrastructure.
Specifically, ServiceKey offers IT maintenance and support services for midrange, network, and storage environments. In that service line, the company provides both a help desk and onsite field engineers. ServiceKey’s Data Protection and Recovery Service, meanwhile, lets VARs extend online backup to their customers.
The company’s most recent service foray, Total Infrastructure Management, includes network monitoring and router/switch interface traffic analysis. ServiceKey tapped systems management vendor Nimsoft as the center of this hosted managed service.
Growing MomentumThe service story seems to be resonating among channel players. ServiceKey is approaching 75 active partners and has 15 to 20 additional potential allies working through training and approval process, Vines said. That tally compares with a roster of about 50 partners this time in 2008. The company’s objective is 125 partners by the close of 2009 end.
The difficult economy contributes to the increased interest. Vine said end customers who balk at a traditional software license purchase may opt for a managed service.
“A lot of capex [expenditures] on the end user side aren’t being pushed through and approved, but they can get services approved,” Vines said.
That’s good news for ServiceKey and its partners; Vines reports a 20 percent-plus uptick in service business over last year.
Getting StartedServiceKey requires channel partners to go through a day of training after which they are authorized to sell its services. Vine said the training is offered free of charge.
“We think if they make the commitment to get trained ... that, in itself, is enough,” she said.
The company also seeks to stand out by offering non-Microsoft solutions to expand their partners’ options. The Nimsoft-based hosted service provides an example.
“The biggest trend I’ve seen is the expansion outside of the Microsoft space for MSPs,” Vines said. MSP customers, she added, “have multi-vendor environments and they want multi-vendor solutions.”
More fundamentally, customers want to make sure their IT assets are protected and kept in good working order. In this trying market, a service provider could do worse than focus on the technology version of Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs.
Contributing blogger John Moore covers Master MSPs and Web hosts, and has written about the IT channel for two decades. MSPmentor is updated multiple times daily. Don’t miss a single post. Subscribe to our Enewsletter, RSS, Webcast and Twitter feeds.