A so-called "free" strategy continues to sweep across the managed services market. But whether you're an association, a software provider or a managed services provider (MSP), "free" is a tricky strategy to manage -- especially as you try to convert free clientele into paying customers. Here's a look at the trend.
First, a look at some of the free efforts in the MSP market:
- N-able has launched free software agents and free endpoint security options for its existing MSP partner base. The move aims to help MSPs expand their customer bases
- Sophos is offering free data leakage prevention capabilities in its endpoint security offering
- Spiceworks offers free remote monitoring software, powered by an advertising system
- Trend Micro offers Worry-Free Remote Manager remote monitoring software for free to its security MSPs
- At a conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, the Managed Print Services Association (MPSA) has announced "a new suite of member services" that are free for a limited time.
- Additional associations and organizations -- everyone from the MSPAlliance to MSP Partners (recently acquired by CompTIA) and MSP University -- frequently pull together "free" offers to engage members or drive events forward
- Stay tuned folks. I suspect we'll hear at least one new "free" MSP-oriented offer in the next 10 business days, and it could be dramatic
Free for the Long Haul?In the MSP space, the free strategy will need time to play out.
I'll be watching the N-able partner ecosystem particularly closely.
- How will existing partners use those free remote management and endpoint security licenses?
- How will they pitch the offerings to customers?
- Will MSPs bill for the free offerings and pocket the profits?
- Or will MSPs offer up the software for free to customers -- just to get them hooked on managed services?
Follow MSPmentor via RSS; Facebook; Identi.ca; and Twitter. And sign up for our Enewsletter; Webcasts and Resource Center. Plus, check out more MSP voices at www.MSPtweet.com.