MSPs and Mid-Market Enterprises: Fact vs. Fiction

MSPs and Mid-Market Enterprises: Fact vs. Fiction

Some MSPs and their technology partners are marching aggressively toward mid-market enterprises. No doubt, there's big money to be made when serving mid-market customers. Just be careful not to get caught up in all the hype.

For many managed services providers (MSPs), small businesses with 100 or fewer seats remains a market sweet spot. But MSPmentor continues to hear from more and more MSPs -- and their technology providers -- that are marching into the mid-market. Among the examples:

  1. Azaleos, which offers a range of Microsoft-centric managed services to mid-market customers.
  2. Axcient, which started in the small business channel but has partnered with HP to increasingly move into mid-market cloud storage services.
  3. IBM, which is positioning its servers and software for mid-market MSPs.
  4. Nimsoft, which has always targeted so-called "emerging enterprises" -- especially MSPs that had mid-market customers.
  5. NetEnrich, which has introduced closet-to-cloud services that stretch into the mid-market, helping customers to manage on-premises and cloud servers, and network infrastructure. Increasingly, those mid-market systems involve Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, and databases as a service.
  6. Promys, a PSA software provider that works with larger Cisco Systems channel partners.
Still, I'm starting to hear "confusion" about mid-market initiatives. In some cases, technology vendors claim they are pursuing mid-size MSPs. In other cases, the technology vendors are pursuing mid-size end-customers. Don't confuse those two audiences.
  1. Some mid-size MSPs focus on really small customers and have no interest in mid-market enterprises.
  2. Some really small MSPs focus on only a handful of mid-market customers, acting as a virtual CIO advisor to customers.
Within our annual MSPmentor 100 report, I suspect only about 20 percent of MSPs focus on mid-market customers. And those mid-market services go far beyond traditional PC and server management. Think of opportunities like managed database services, unified communications, and virtualized network services.

What are the most profitable mid-market services for MSPs? I'll share my answer to that question later this week.

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