MSPs: Time to Give Free Online Backup to CPAs?

MSPs: Time to Give Free Online Backup to CPAs?

freemium managed online backupGillware has a rather intriguing recommendation to help MSPs drum up business: The company says you should hook up with an accountant, and provide the CPA with a free-for-life managed backup/online backup solution for their QuickBooks financial files. How can that lead to more recurring revenue? Here are some clues.

I spoke to Gillware's Scott Eganhouse about the CPA strategy. The Wisconsin-based Gillware, which provides a range of storage consulting and services, decided six months ago that it was time to try the freemium approach, Eganhouse said. They'd give out free-for-life versions of their accounting data backup solution, and set their resellers up with CPAs who could use it.

Once the accountant is good and hooked on the Gillware solution, the reseller can take two approaches to monetizing the freeware: the obvious one is that your accounting partner could decide that the QuickBooks backup is so valuable that they need a full managed storage solution, or any other managed services. Eganhouse estimates 30% of CPAs monetize their storage solution.

Also, CPA partner could recommend the managed services to their own client base, theoretically at least putting MSPs in a position to provide IT services to people who otherwise never heard of your business. Your accounting partner itself becomes a Gillware affiliate, in collaboration with you, the reseller.

Of course, Gillware is engaged in the process and would prefer you resold their storage solutions, but their stated goal is to see MSPs grow their business. It's worth noting that they sell directly as well as through the channel and their CPA, but Eganhouse claimed a major focus on reselling through MSP partners.

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