I spent much of this week at the first-ever Amazon Web Services partner and customer conference. Some MSPs and IT leaders at the conference, called AWS re:Invent, are showing amazing progress in the cloud services market. But as a whole, I think most MSPs need to up their cloud game. I'll share more thoughts soon. But in the meantime here are seven managed services provider (MSP) news stories and blogs MSPmentor didn't have time to write for the week ending Nov. 30, 2012.
7. MSPs in the Cloud: For an example of an MSP that bet the business on cloud computing check out OC4. The company had a good presence at AWS re:Invent. Working within Amazon Web Services, OC4 offers managed services for customer applications, application monitoring, call center and change control, and continual optimization. Director Russell Matz was on hand at the conference and caught my ear for about 10 minutes. I don't know if the company is profitable, nor do I know if the company's managed services work as advertised. But remember what Woody Allen once said: 80 percent of success is just showing up. OC4 showed up in a big was for AWS re:Invent. Many other MSPs did not...
6. Road to an IPO?: Alert Logic, a SaaS-based security specialist, has enjoyed a 50 percent growth rate in recent years. Most of the company's business involves selling to cloud services providers (CSPs) that want to offer their customers managed security services. Founder and VP of Emerging products Misha Govshteyn told me the eventual goal is IPO. Here again, the meeting occurred at AWS re:Invent.
5. LabTech Software: Next release within days? More details potentially today...
4. Now That's Neat: Kia Behnia, senior VP and CTO at BMC Software, demonstrated MyIT -- a self-service IT platform -- to me during the Amazon conference. MSPs take note -- this could be an intriguing platform to help your customers find IT resources and answers more quickly, assuming MyIT works as advertised...
3. Distributors Get It: Breakfast with Tim FitzGerald, VP of Avnet Cloud Solutions, triggered a range of thoughts. Chief among them: Is Avnet emerging as the key bridge that helps MSPs and VARs connect public clouds to on-premises solutions from NetApp and other companies? More on that later. Meanwhile, I also bumped into Bharath Natarajan, director of product marketing for TDCloud and Software Services at Tech Data. Stay tuned to Talkin' Cloud, our sister site, for more thoughts regarding Avnet, Tech Data and distributors in the cloud.
2. Desktop as a Service: So you're an MSP that wants to offer customers desktop as a service (DaaS). Instead of building out your own infrastructure, did you know Citrix Systems has partners that already offer DaaS in the Amazon cloud? Citrix demonstrated the solution at AWS re:Invent.
By now you're tired of hearing about the conference. Items 7, 6, 4, 3 and 2 above all involve what most MSPs missed at the show. Which brings me back to my thesis: I think the majority of MSPs need to up their cloud game fast. Doing BDR and security in the cloud is a nice start. But you've got to move faster and build relationships with companies outside of your traditional MSP comfort zone.
1. Who Are The Top MSPs?: Another shameless plug for our sixth annual MSPmentor 100 Survey. Complete it by December 28. The results, coming in February 2013, will identify and honor:
- The top 100 MSPs worldwide
- Top 200 North America MSPs
- Top 50 EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) MSPs
- Top 25 AANZ (Asia, Australia, New Zealand) MSPs
- And perhaps even some honors for Latin America MSPs... if we get enough data.