Instead of trying to pitch and sell mobile device management (MDM), perhaps managed services providers (MSPs) should simply spend more time listening to incoming customer requests and queries. The reason: Fully 70 percent of MSPs say their customers are asking about MDM, but nearly 20 percent of MSPs say they don't have an MDM solution in place to meet the inbound customer inquiries.
Those stats surfaced today during our Channel Expert Hour webcast, which focused on MDM business and sales strategies. Admittedly, the attendee survey was not scientific and the results could be inflated since all attendees had a built-in interest in MDM.
Still, the figures suggest MSPs need to adjust their business processes and sales models to address customers' growing use of tablets and smartphones. The biggest issue on the webcast, hardly surprising, involved pricing. Multiple options are surfacing.
Per User or Per Device Pricing?Rick Vines (pictured, left), president of Axcell Technologies, says he's using the Cake sales mindset -- popularized by TruMethods. The idea is all-in "per user" or "per customer" pricing that covers all traditional and emerging devices without specifically describing how much MDM costs. Hypothetically, managing a user per month could cost $100 for all-in services (including MDM) without a specific line item for the MDM fee.
In contrast, Connecting Point Technologies VP Sam Bloedow (right) is embracing per-device pricing. In some cases, smartphone management costs half as much as traditional PC management. In other cases, tablet management can cost as much as traditional PC management -- particularly if the service involves mission-critical tablets that essentially replace PCs as primary computing devices.
Gerald Beaulieu (left), director of product marketing at Kaseya, cautioned MSPs not to set a specific flat-rate price for all MDM engagements. While low-margin retailers may have very sensitive price points for MDM, compliance-focused customers like attorneys and health care practitioners will likely open their wallets wider for MDM services that protect sensitive data and keep employees productive.
An archive of the webcast -- which Kaseya sponsored -- will be available on our Channel Expert Hour webcast registration page from about January 18 through about April 18, 2012.