Call it some friendly coopetition. Earlier this week, several Florida-based managed services providers -- located in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties -- sat down at a bar together to share a few beers, smoke a few cigars, and compare business notes. Among those who pulled up a chair for the meeting: Eric Dosal, chief operating officer for Compuquip Technologies, Inc. Here's a recap.
Dosal says the MSPs get together two to three times per year to discuss business trends. The attending MSPs range from small players specializing in 10- to 15-user shops, to Compuquip, which focuses on 50- to 300-user shops.
Trends Worth NotingSo what did this week's discussion cover? Dosal says the main themes of the evening included:
- Return of customer budgets: Clients are starting to spend money
- Now need for low-ball pricing: Clients are not balking at higher prices
- Peace of Mind: Backup and disaster recovery -- particularly how to price it -- was a hot topic
- Hardware as a Service: Each company seemed to have a different approach. Some were using a third-party such as CharTec, others were leveraging leasing partners or managing the strategy internally. "Most of the choices were driven by liquidity," says Dosal.
- Desktop Dollars: Managed workstation pricing ranged from $85 - $125 a desktop per month; the $125 included brand new hardware at some point during the contract, he adds. Side note: I'm not sure if those fees included all-in services like backup, endpoint security and so-on.
- Looking Up: Server pricing ranged from $280 - $340 per server per month. Here again, I need to check to see what services were included with that fee.
- The Buddy System: Most -- if not all -- of the attending MSPs are also part of peer group programs like HTG Peer Groups or Taylor Business Group, among others.
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