"We're going vertical." I hear that mantra over and over again in the managed services market, as MSPs and their software providers try to push deeper into health care, government, retail and other verticals. But how do you back up your words with real action? Here's one answer from N-able.
First, let's look at the traditional MSP market. In order to share best practices and new business ideas, many MSPs spend extensive time with one another at MSP and channel conferences. Yes, those events are highly valuable. I spend considerable time at most of them -- networking like crazy.
The Next StepBut if you want to go vertical and push deeper into new markets, you need to move outside of your comfort zone from time to time. Start doing lunch-and-learns designed only for the audiences you want to target. Or, start attending vertical market trade shows.
A prime example: As part of a push into the retail vertical, N-able has joined the Retail Solutions Provider Association (RSPA). Also, N-able plans to exhibit at the RSPA's convention -- RetailNOW, scheduled for July 11-16 in Las Vegas.
During a quick call on June 29, N-able VP of Sales Mike Cullen told me N-able's focus on vertical markets -- including the retail market -- is part of a global business strategy. The goal is to help retailers and MSPs better manage all IP devices in retail stores.
This isn't a U.S. retail move. Cullen says it's a global move.
And a smart one at that (assuming N-able executes on its strategy). I often criticize other technology industries (such as open source software providers) for spending too much time preaching to the choir. The smarter open source firms, like xTuple (an ERP software provider), have started hanging out at other types of targeted events such as SMB Nation.
So, what's next for N-able and its rivals? I wonder if we'll see MSP software providers joining the National Retail Federation, which runs an annual retail conference in New York. Shame on me: I forgot to ask Cullen if N-able has given the NRF a look.
Memo to N-able: That's my only follow-up question (so far).
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