MSP Cloud Forecast: Varies By Region

As I travel from one MSP-oriented conference to the next, I'm reminded that there's more than one way to attack the managed services market. A prime example: As the N-able Partner Summit kicks off here in Arizona, I'm hearing a healthy reality check on cloud computing. Here's some background.

First, let me rewind a bit. A few weeks ago at the SMB Nation conference in Las Vegas, VARs and managed service providers were busy listening to cloud and SaaS (software as a service) presentations from a range of software companies. Many North American MSPs, it seems, are either testing or leveraging at least one cloud-oriented application -- such as PSA, RMM, email, hosted SharePoint, etc.

Fast forward to the N-able Partner Summit, and there's healthy cloud discussion here but it isn't dominating early discussions. An MSP from Europe mentioned that he's offering Google Postini but other than that, he's keeping all of his offerings on-premise because broadband quality and cost varies from country to country. Several MSPs offered up similar perspectives.

Also of note, N-able VP of Sales Mike Cullen mentioned that business continues to grow rapidly across Europe and Australia, but in both cases 95 percent of the N-able deployments are on-premise approaches.

Blended Approaches

Earlier this week at Oracle OpenWorld, I received a timely reminder that the vast majority of software remains on premise -- though the SaaS industry is certainly growing rapidly and Oracle itself has been formulating a SaaS approach for ISVs and channel partners.

Back in the MSP market, there are successful SaaS companies, on-premise companies and hybrid companies. We do more than our share of SaaS coverage. But here at the N-able conference, attendees are giving me a healthy reminder that not everyone is jumping to the cloud.

Next up: I'll be catching up with N-able CEO Gavin Garbutt later today. More coverage to follow.

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