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DaaS: The Key to Improved Operations for MSPs

Outsourcing mobile device management allows MSPs to scale while focusing on core IT service management.

Falk Sonnenschmidt

July 4, 2023

5 Min Read
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Falk Sonnenschmidt

Despite the meteoric projections of the rise of device-as-a-service (DaaS) offerings – 39.4% CAGR is forecast from 2022 to 2030 – partnerships between managed service providers (MSPs) and DaaS vendors are still somewhat rare.

But with workplaces embracing flexible work models and prioritizing green IT infrastructure, these partnerships will become more common (and necessary for MSPs). To better understand this reality, and the value of these partnerships, I’ve highlighted three benefits MSPs can experience by working with a dedicated DaaS partner.

3 MSP Benefits

  1. Scaled and tailored service offerings. Let’s say you lead an MSP that resells and delivers Amazon Web Services (AWS) to customers in one region of the United States. You recognize how the sustained popularity of remote work has altered businesses’ approach to device management, with many now looking to DaaS as a way to optimize spending. And you know there’s an opportunity to meet that market demand. But your MSP focuses more on cloud infrastructure than DaaS or platform-as-a-service (PaaS).

You could provide DaaS on top of the IT work you perform. But your resources are limited in this area. You can only offer DaaS to customers in one state of the region you target, which is not very enticing monetarily. This also complicates any plans you may have to scale operations down the line. If you’re funneling resources into a fledgling DaaS option, you’re effectively siphoning them away from the core function of your MSP: cloud infrastructure.

There’s a solution. To meet growing customer demands for DaaS and increase your market share, you outsource mobile device management (MDM) to a DaaS provider. This partner manages every logistical step of the MDM process (securing devices, shipping devices, repairing devices, etc.) and integrates this work with your existing IT service management (ITSM) environment.

The result: you meet customers’ mobile device demands and gain the ability to scale without needing to build your own DaaS infrastructure from the ground up.

  1. Enhanced cybersecurity capabilities. Depending on your MSP’s specialization (remote firewall administration, data storage, contract management, etc.), you may not have a comprehensive cybersecurity offering. And even if you do, when employers rely on the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model, you and those employers are left hamstrung. It’s difficult for employers to enforce policies that give them ongoing access to employee-owned devices or let them deploy cybersecurity systems on those devices.

But if you offer a DaaS option along with your other IT services, that can help solve this issue — your DaaS partner owns the devices, your employees don’t. This gives you and your DaaS partner the ability to update operating systems, install firmware and monitor suspicious activity on the devices.

Today, the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. exceeds $9 million. The added layer of cybersecurity that comes from DaaS no doubt helps you and your clients breathe easier. But offering DaaS also benefits your customer further downstream. It takes cybersecurity work off their plate, freeing their own IT team’s capacity in the process.

  1. E-waste reduction and a smaller carbon footprint. In the United States, businesses frequently employ ownership-based models when it comes to the technology they use. This often means companies purchase devices, use those devices and discard them once they’ve grown old. Notably, there’s no offsetting with this model. It’s a linear economy. And for MSPs that want to reduce e-waste, it’s an imperfect system. (Bear in mind, we create roughly 40 million tons of e-waste each year.)

MSPs can help create a circular economy by working with DaaS providers. The core focus of a circular economy is simple — nearly everything you use is eventually reused. Let’s say you lead an MSP that wants to get serious about sustainability and has customers that require cutting-edge devices, i.e., they discard technology quickly.

Your DaaS partner can satisfy your clients’ tech needs and help drive your sustainability push. That’s because DaaS providers control devices throughout their life cycle. This means they can re-lease older devices to their own customers or tap into existing relationships across the recycling space to ensure outdated technology doesn’t end up in a landfill.

Of note, this circular economy approach is becoming a greater priority for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and customers alike. Last year, Samsung announced a new device recycling process dubbed “The Circular Economy Lab.” And a 2022 survey found that a company’s environmental practices were a deciding factor for 78% of consumers.

The takeaway: sustainability isn’t just the right thing for our planet; it’s also the right thing for your MSP’s business.

Save Time, Increase Profit Margins with DaaS

Hardware is a low-margin game. It’s complex to manage logistically, particularly if you lead an MSP that wants to build its own DaaS solution. So don’t do it yourself. DaaS providers have the necessary relationships and supply chain expertise to make hardware a profitable venture.

When you partner with these providers, you reap the benefits of their established processes. This means you save time that otherwise may have gone to A) building a DaaS arm and B) overseeing parts of the MDM process that a DaaS partner can manage. Not to be forgotten is that adding DaaS to your list of services also gives you a new revenue stream and an opportunity to deepen your MSP’s foothold in the IT space.

Falk Sonnenschmidt is senior vice president of strategy at Everphone, a device-as-a-service (DaaS) company. He oversees Everphone’s U.S. business and leads its strategy department, managing OEM and carrier partnerships with Deutsche Telekom, Samsung, Google and Microsoft. You may follow him on LinkedIn or @everphone_ on Twitter.

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