Microsoft Moving Into Managed Services Software Market?
Microsoft has reached out to selected solutions providers in order to gain their feedback about a soon-to-be-launched software product in an emerging market. Hmmm. What could the software giant be up to? It involves so-called managed services software. Here’s the scoop.
According to an email allegedly from the software giant, Microsoft is conducting user research in November that involves the managed services software market. Apparently, the company plans to introduce a management platform that solutions providers can use to remotely manage customer networks.
The managed services software market is filled with small, fast-growing companies — including Kaseya, N-able and Level Platforms. just to name a few. Also, companies like Autotask and ConnectWise promote closely related professional services automation (PSA) software.
Generally speaking, VARs and so-called managed service providers use those software tools to proactively monitor, troubleshoot and optimize customer servers, desktops, laptops and network infrastructure and applications. The VARs and MSPs typically charge a flat monthly fee — similar to a cable or telephone bill — for the ongoing managed services.
Microsoft has existing relationships with multiple MSP software providers. And the company recently announced a certification partnership with the MSPAlliance.
According to an email recently viewed by MSPmentor (The VAR Guy’s sister site), Microsoft is reaching out to MSPs to gather their feedback about a potential product in the managed services market. The company expects to host focus groups in Redmond, Wash., in November.
The VAR Guy suspects many PC industry veterans — Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Microsoft, etc. — will need to either partner, acquire or launch managed services products to improve IT support in the small and midsize business market.
Dell has already made three acquisitions — Silverback, MessageOne and Everdream — as it marches toward the managed services market. Now, Microsoft appears to be following suit.