November 5, 2010
connectwise it nation torchieSo, you’re worried about cloud computing solutions moving into the SMB market. Will VARs and MSPs remain relevant? Absolutely yes, according to ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini. During a keynote at the ConnectWise IT Nation conference this morning, Bellini described 19 areas where VARs and MSPs can generate revenues and profits even if cloud computing moves into the SMB market. Take a look.
First, a little background. Roughly 1,100 VARs and MSPs are attending the IT Nation conference here in Orlando, Fla. You’ll find a more extensive recap of Bellini’s keynote over on MSPmentor. But for the blog entry you’re reading right now The VAR Guy is going to focus entirely on the revenue and profit opportunities that Bellini mentioned. The entire goal, Bellini said, is to drop multiple anchors within your SMB customers’ offices and then never let go. The opportunities include:
Shift from traditional hardware to hardware as a service (HaaS)
Push beyond software to software as a service. “Google is willing to work with us and through us” on SaaS, Bellini asserted, an apparent tip of the hat to the Google Apps Reseller program.
Storage, backup and disaster recovery services.
Email management and administration.
Website management. “Websites have always been a cloud solution,” said Bellini. “It’s another way for you to make money.”
Remote monitoring and automation. “We can take care of 70 percent of their problems remotely and give SMBs instant gratification” when IT or business issues pop up.
Help Desk: “This is near and dear to my heart,” said Bellini. “If you a good RMM and automation tool and a good help-desk function you can really take control of your clients. We all worry about the cloud and control of those clients. More than any other area of your business make sure you have help desk functions.” The average help-desk technician manages about 15 tickets per day. Build processes, using a dispatcher, to pick and choose which tickets to manage first, Bellini asserted.
Voice over IP: “Here’s the thing about what’s kind of cool in this industry… everything is going digital, everything is data, everything is going across the Internet,” said Bellini. “All of that is just servers and endpoints. The phone is the endpoint.” Control that phone relationship, even as PBXes shift to the cloud.
Mobile: A new wireless standard will push 50Gbps “That’s going to change everything,” said Bellini. “Google’s mission is writing everything for mobile first. More searches are now happening through mobile. It’s bypassing desktop searches. Mobile is a cloud-based service.
Telecommuting: We’ve all got clients that have employees who work from home or remote offices where two or three people work. Embrace opportunities, Bellini said.
Telepresence: Zenith has a brand new offering (Vu TelePresence) which is designed a monthly service. “That’s another thing for your bag of tricks.”
Digital Signage: “It’s another PC… another end point that you can grab.”
Vendor Management: Take control of customer relationships with phone companies, copier companies, broadband companies. We’re all doing that management and we’re not taking control of it. Focus on vendor management and take control of that client’s data infrastructure. Customers want to deal with one person. Who do you want that one person to be? Add $99 a month for managing that account. That’s $1,200 a year for every customer. Do the math; it’s a lot of money,” asserted Bellini.
Printer Management: :”It’s not sexy but who’s doing it?” said Bellini. He pointed to Xerox PagePack as a managed print service that MSPs should explore. “Print management is an incredibly profitable area; it’s just not boring; it’s not sexy. Printers will always be under your customer roof. Manage them.”
Surveillance: “These are just IP cameras that go back to a centralized server. It’s not rocket science.”
Co-managed IT: “Our answer for that is ConnectWise Streamline IT,” said Bellini. Formerly called Downstream IT.
Cloud Services: The last item of Bellini’s list was cloud services. “This is the thing that people are most concerned about.” But instead of getting concerned, review the list above and focus on at least four or more of the opportunities, asserted Bellini.
That’s all for now. The VAR Guy and MSPmentor continue to cover the ConnectWise IT Nation conference. Check back for regular updates.
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