Managed Services: Two Definitions, One Goal

I witnessed a rather interesting debate earlier this week at CompTIA's SMB Summit. During the event, hosted in Bonita Springs, Fla., about 120 VARs debated the true definition of managed services. Eventually, attendees reached two clear conclusions: First, managed services are either (A) delivered remotely or (B) delivered on site -- yes, on site. The real trick, all attendees agreed, is to deliver the remote or on-site services as part of a monthly contract/service fee.

These definitions may seem trivial, but they are important. During the conference, roughly 50 percent of attendees said they already offer managed services and 80 percent said they'd offer managed services in 2008. But when pressed to describe the managed services they plan to offer, many attendees said they are starting with on-site services because they don't have the money or expertise yet to deploy an MSP remote administration platform.

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