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Cloud, Mobile Collision Underline Critical Role of MSPsCloud, Mobile Collision Underline Critical Role of MSPs

Technology worlds are colliding, causing the Perfect Storm for organizations that aren't prepared and causing tremendous opportunities for solution providers that are.

Elliot Markowitz

June 13, 2014

3 Min Read
Cloud, Mobile Collision Underline Critical Role of MSPs

elliot-markowitz.jpgTechnology worlds are colliding, causing the Perfect Storm for organizations that aren’t prepared and creating tremendous opportunities for solution providers that are.

Data is being generated at a breakneck pace and organizations are in dire need of storage, access and security solutions. Much of this data-generation is coming from the communications and easy sharing of information on mobile devices. That is only going to increase moving forward and, as a result, businesses are turning to cloud computing to meet their needs.

This intersection of mobile device usage, management and integration with the adoption of cloud computing is putting solution providers in the catbird seat. In fact, many managed service providers already have begun transitioning their business models for this new opportunity by reinventing themselves, focusing on the user experience rather than server monitoring, and have learned how to upsell services in the era of cloud and mobility.

“We have reached a deflection point in managed services,” said Mike Cullen, vice president of Worldwide Sales and Business Strategy, MSP at N-able, during a recent VAR Guy webcast. There will be more change in the next two years than the last 15 and more opportunities for MSPs to re-invent themselves, leapfrog their competition and become more competitive with their pricing, he said.

Cullen and other channel experts agree that the role of the MSP will only become more critical as the consumerization of IT continues and IT departments increasingly need help managing and integrating mobile devices and tapping into the cloud for their storage and service needs.

Specifically, Cullen pointed to five main drivers that are changing the MSP model:

  1. New competitors entering the market: Specifically, the copier and telco industries need to be watched carefully as their business models have become more commoditized and they are looking toward the higher-margin service business of MSPs.

  2. Commoditization: As PC and server prices continue to drop at alarming rates, only through automation can MSPs offset this decline. Those that do not automate some of their internal processes will not survive.

  3. Mobile Computing: Mobile devices certainly are being included as part of the managed services engagement now, and future managed service contracts will cover all mobile devices. This changes the nature of support as MSPs will have to adapt to support users where and how they do business, instead of simply at corporate or regional offices.

  4. The Cloud: Cloud computing and mobility are intertwined. More organizations are adopting a cloud environment and many users are already using cloud technology without even realizing it. It offer enormous savings and efficiencies and is being supporting by the largest technology companies such as Google and Microsoft.

  5. End User Empowerment: Employees now are dictating what device they want to use to conduct business, where they want work from and when. This always-on, always-available environment is changing the business landscape for all industries. MSPs must learn to adapt their support offerings to address these changes.

All of these factors play favorably to the strengths of MSPs. However, despite this enormous opportunity, the sad truth is that many MSPs will not make the transition, Cullen said, adding that N-able is committed to helping its channel partners along the way.

Don’t get left behind. Start taking advantage of the opportunities out there. If you don’t, someone else will.

Knock ’em alive!

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About the Author(s)

Elliot Markowitz

Elliot Markowitz is a veteran in channel publishing. He served as an editor at CRN for 11 years, was editorial director of webcasts and events at Ziff Davis, and also built the webcast group as editorial director at Nielsen Business Media. He's served in senior leadership roles across several channel brands.

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