May 22, 2008
I’m a firm believer that managed service providers (MSPs) must offer “feet on the street” and face-to-face interaction with customers, otherwise you risk losing close, long-term relationships. Even if you offer software as a service (SaaS), you need to force yourself to visit customers regularly (once a month to once a quarter). That’s where the “software plus service” or “hybrid” business model comes into focus.
In the hybrid model, you’re still installing and maintaining key on-site IT components for customers — their network infrastructure, appliances, etc. Although I’ve written about the hybrid model a bit, Curt Hall offers some new thoughts and perspectives in this blog entry. Hall caught my attention because he covers the pros — and the cons — of software plus service, especially as it relates to big software companies serving enterprises.
I realize most of our readers are not working on big SAP enterprise projects (an area that Hall covers), but I do think small and midsize MSPs face some of the same challenges that SAP, Microsoft and others are encountering.
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