How Much Can MSPs Charge for Mobile Managed Services?

When the managed services industry got its start, many MSPs charged customers on a per device basis -- per desktop and per server. Fast forward to the present and the old per-device model may be breaking down, especially as users juggle multiple devices -- desktops, notebooks, tablets and smart phones. The big question: Can MSPs generate incremental revenues from mobile device management?

I've heard from a range of MSPs on this topic. In recent weeks, MSPmentor has spent considerable time describing the all-in model: Instead of charging customers per application (backup, anti-spam, etc.), sharp MSPs seem to be charging an all-in per user fee that covers everything... true IT as a Service.

But I still don't have a feel for just how much mobile management MSPs are taking on...

  1. Are MSPs managing tablets as part of a broader contract agreement?
  2. Are MSPs going the extra step and assisting SMB customers with mobile rate plans, smart phone selection and so on?
Tech Data is betting that MSPs want to help customers with both steps. The distributor, in partnership with Brightstar, has launched a service for channel partners called ActivateIT. The ActivateIT service gives partners a one-stop shop for mobile rate plans and devices -- potentially shifting the balance of power back to VARs and MSPs rather than cell phone retail stores.

Of course, there are some specialized MSPs that focus purely on mobile managed services. Stratix Corp. is a prime example. For nearly 30 years, Stratix has helped Fortune 500 companies plan, deploy and support mobile solutions. I wonder if smaller MSPs can repeat that mobile success in the SMB market...
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