Cloud computing was only half the story at last week's IT Nation conference in Orlando, Fla. Attendees -- mostly MSPs and VARs -- also focused heavily on mobile device management (MDM) and the growing influence of tablets in the workplace. But instead of talking cloud vs. on-premises or notebooks vs. tablets, it's time for MSPs to focus their sales and business strategies on the complete end-user experience. Here's why.
As HTG Peer Groups Founder Arlin Sorensen told me: "Forget the cloud; worry about clients and the end-user experience." Don't misunderstand Sorensen's words. And don't misread my intent with this blog. It's safe to say Sorensen sees financial opportunities with the cloud. As do I.
But the customer conversation needs to change. In short, MSPs need to start thinking more and more like Apple -- where every product and service (whether on premise or in the cloud) is designed with one goal in mind: Deliver a great customer experience. Fulfill that goal and customers will always pay a premium for your products and services.
Any Device, Any ServiceFor MSPs, a great customer experience means you'll help SMB customers to access any application or any service from any device. Plus, the end-user experience will be strikingly similar whether the customer is using a smartphone, tablet, notebook, PC or high-end workstation.In some cases, the end customer may rarely -- if ever -- see the service (examples: cloud backup, cloud security, etc.). In other cases, the customer experience is front-and-center (example: virtual desktop infrastructure).
No doubt, plenty of vendors and cloud services providers (MSPs) want to help you deliver a strong customer experience. But I'm not sure which companies, if any, are best positioned to help MSPs deliver an awesome customer experience across all devices...