Jobvana, which positions itself as an online marketplace where you can find trusted service providers, has received an undisclosed amount of financing from Rally Capital to help marketing efforts. But what exactly is Jobvana, and can online marketplaces really help managed service providers (MSPs) score new business? Here are some thoughts.
To be clear, Jobvana isn't just for IT service providers. Businesses and consumers can use Jobvana to track down Web developers, electricians, general contractors and other trade expertise. The system also lets users send and receive online payments.
Jobvana isn't the first system of its kind. More than 13,000 service professionals already use OnForce to bid on IT projects across the U.S. and Canada, and OnForce is eying potential expansion in Europe. Plus, big companies -- major telecom providers and PC makers -- quietly use OnForce to outsource regional and national IT projects to multiple VARs and managed service providers.
Similar Concepts, Different ApproachesAre Jobvana and OnForce on a collision course? It's too soon to say. OnForce processed its first work order back in April 2004. Jobvana, in contrast, appears to have launched around 2008 and has a far broader mission -- serving all types of service providers (from IT experts to real estate agents).
I must concede: I'm always a bit skeptical when new, targeted social networks launch. Most small business owners already have their hands full managing their FaceBook and LinkedIn accounts. Social networks like PartnerPedia have popped up to help network VARs and and MSPs.
But what really motivates an entrepreneur or service provider to join yet another social network?
The simple answer: New sales and revenue opportunities. OnForce fills that need by going narrow and deep in the IT service provider market. The next few months should reveal if Jobvana's decision to cast a wider net across more industries was a wise one.
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