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June 20, 2011
On paper, Master MSPs sound like ideal channel partners. Generally speaking, Master MSPs offer VARs and aspiring MSPs a range of recurring revenue services and IT solutions — everything from NOC (network operations centers) to turnkey remote monitoring platforms. But the Master MSP market has faced its share of challenges over the years. Now comes word that MSP1 of India is seeking to build a global Master MSP business. Can the strategy succeed?
In an email alert, CEO Prakash Chaudhari states:
“We will continue to provide remote monitoring and management software based on our partnership with Level Platforms, on a on-premise and on MSP1 cloud options. We are also the representation company for the Intel Hybrid Cloud program in India and most of you will be interacting with me and my colleagues on this.
I would however, like to take this opportunity to update you on the new services and happenings at MSP1:
We have strategically decided to become a global Master Managed Service Provider (Master MSP). MSP1 will work with Value Added Resellers, MSP’s, OEM and Technology companies to provide a ‘Value’ based service offering to their end customers in a completely private labeled model. We will provide a sophisticated back end Network Operations Center, (NOC) called MSP1 4.0, along with outsourced technical support and helpdesk services, and the entire break fix service governance at the back end for our partners, completely private labeled…I would like to highlight that MSP1 is a pure-play Master MSP — not a software reseller or VAR. We make a business out of remote delivery of IT infrastructure management services, and can manage your clients’ IT infrastructure as per your requirements on a completely transparent basis with no-compete.”
That’s an ambitious strategy. But I also think the Master MSP industry is, well, difficult to master. A few companies — most notably Do IT Smarter and Virtual Administrator — have successfully served MSPs for several years. But other Master MSPs, including MSP Services Network, have quietly faded from the landscape — often because it’s expensive for Master MSPs to find, recruit and retain VARs and aspiring MSPs.
In some ways, distributors and software companies have also competed in the Master MSP market. A few examples:
Meanwhile, it’s difficult to build a Master MSP business. You need to integrate multiple back-end services and then price to compete against major distributors, NOC providers, specialty help desks, and more. Then, you need to somehow find the time to recruit, onboard and train VARs and MSPs to use your services.
Those are difficult tasks in the North America market. But MSP1 has boldly stated that it will pursue a global Master MSP strategy. In some ways I’m skeptical of the “global” push.
Still, I certainly respect entrepreneurs, and I’ve known MSP1 CEO Prakash Chaudhari since around 2008. He’s previously worked at NetEnrich and Zenith Infotech, so I believe he understands how to build out a range of managed services offerings for the channel.
According to Chaudhari’s LinkedIn bio, MSP1 has 47 channel partners in India and 17,000 devices under management. Those are impressive figures, though I don’t know if MSP1 is profitable. And we’ll be watching to see how Chaudhari potentially scales MSP1 into North America, Europe and more.
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