It's starting to feel like Groundhog Day in the managed services market. Indeed, each day I get ready to blog I hear about yet another software vendor launching a managed services provider partner program. The latest example involves Quest Software, owner of PacketTrap Networks and other administration tools. Here's how Quest plans to engage MSPs and hosting companies, plus a look at rival service provider partner programs launched in recent days.
Here's the official word from Quest. The company:
"today unveiled a new Service Provider Program to help managed service and hosting providers maximize revenue potential with expanded services, lower support costs, and improved service quality for their customers. Quest helps service providers gain a competitive edge by retaining and attracting new customers in Windows, database, application, network and virtualization management. The new program offers pricing and billing models that coincide with the unique requirements of service providers, and includes the ability to scale to meet the needs of even the world’s largest environments."Now here's the background: Many MSPs fail to realize that Quest is a $700 million software company. In addition to acquiring PacketTrap Networks in 2009, Quest has dozens of established software brands that service providers typically leverage. Plus, Quest's PacketTrap division is adjusting its pricing model to more aggressively engage MSPs (and to mitigate potential shelfware concerns).
True believers in the new Quest Service Provider Program include Azaleos (the well-known managed Exchange specialist) and DirectPointe (the managed IT outsourcing company). Both service providers offered votes of confidence in the official Quest announcement.
Critical MassThe Quest Service Provider Program arrives during a broader market shift to MSP software models. Numerous software vendors -- from CA Technologies to Symantec -- are introducing MSP-type pricing and licensing programs to reflect growing interest in recurring revenues and managed services.
By the end of 2010, I suspect the vast majority of traditional software companies will introduce service provider pricing and licensing models that help MSPs engage small and midsize customers. Software vendors that ignore the trend will get left out in the cold.
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