mindSHIFT Set to Position As Cloud Services Provider
mindSHIFT, one of North America’s most successful managed services providers, is set to position itself far more aggressively as an outsourcing expert and cloud services provider (CSP). The effort is part of a corporate branding update, which will include a redesigned web site that’s expected to debut the week of June 20, according to mindSHIFT CEO Paul Chisholm. The big question: Will additional MSPs begin to market and brand around the CSP moniker?
Chisholm says the managed services and cloud services markets have similarities and differences. Both involve a trusted outsourcing relationship between customer and service provider. But mindSHIFT accounts for managed services and cloud services revenues differently.
- Managed services typically involve managing customer infrastructure and processes at a predictable recurring monthly cost.
- Cloud services is an electronic way to deliver a service.
“From a valuation point of view we do view them differently,” said Chisholm. “We basically look at our monthly recurring revenues in two categories: Cloud and non-cloud.” The cloud category, he says, has a higher valuation.
With that thought in mind, mindSHIFT’s brand will more aggressively promote cloud services, outsourcing and IT peace of mind going forward. “The message is pretty simple,” said Chisholm. “We want customers to understand that we have size, scale, financial strength and longevity — which gives them peace of mind. Yet we’re small enough with local resources to maintain personalized customer support. And we think we have the fullest package of cloud solutions for customers.”
mindSHIFT generated nearly $100 million in 2010 and $13 million in earnings. The company has roughly 500 employees. Seventy-five percent of revenues are recurring, and 45 percent are cloud-related. Half of the company’s growth has come from acquisition and half involves organic growth.
mindSHIFT is among a handful of companies to appear on both the MSPmentor 100 and the TalkinCloud 50, which track the world’s leading channel partners for managed services and cloud services, respectively.
MSPs Becoming CSPs?
mindSHIFT certainly isn’t getting out of the managed services business. And generally speaking, MSPs attending the recent TruMethods Schnizzfest conference in Philadelphia continue to consider themselves managed services providers.
At the conference, TruMethods CEO Gary Pica described cloud services as an ingredient within an MSP’s broader support offering. Pica called on MSPs to sell total solutions and the total experience (which he deemed Chocolate Cake) rather than individual IT ingredients.
As an MSP, solutions providers can communicate total automated solutions — everything from on-premise management and virtual CIO services to help desk and NOC services. As a CSP, solutions providers can attempt to ride the next wave of IT. But there’s also the danger of drowning in all the cloud noise.
Generally speaking, I think most smaller MSPs will resell and white label cloud services. mindSHIFT, however, is in a rare position. At roughly $100 million in annual revenues, the company has acquired and/or built out its own cloud services — including a VDI cloud service that will likely move into the spotlight soon.
mindSHIFT’s new corporate website is expected to debut the week of June 20. We’ll be sure to give it a look.