Tech Data has announced several new steps in its managed services efforts -- including expanded initiatives with Advanced Technology Services and Zenith Infotech.
It's good to see distributors offering "choice" to VARs and aspiring MSPs. But VARs will also need extra hand holding as they evaluate their MSP platform options. Here's why, along with a closer look at Tech Data's moves.
During a partner conference in Florida this week, Tech Data says it expanded a partnership with Advanced Technology Services (ATS), maker of the iTWatch Managed Services platform. iTwatch is a hosted network, server, desktop and printer monitoring and repair-focused solution.
Tech Data has also announced a free, 60-day trial of Zenith's managed data backup and disaster recovery solution to the first 250 qualified Tech Data customers. The promotion, Tech Data says, enables resellers and their sales and technical staff to become familiar with the solution before introducing managed data backup and disaster recovery services to their end-user customers. (For more info, Tech Data has set up a phone line: (800) 237-8931, ext. 64257.)
Zenith Infotech and ATS are part of a growing list of MSP platforms offered by Tech Data, including:
- Remote monitoring and management service providers (Advanced Technology Services, N-able Technologies and Zenith Infotech);
- Managed print services application provider (FMAudit); and
- Converged voice and data service providers (Cbeyond Inc., Telovations Inc. and XO Communications).
Sorting Out Your OptionsNow, for the challenge: Many VARs are looking for specific product advice -- which MSP platform should they choose? How does N-able compare to Zenith Infotech, Kaseya, Level Platforms and other options?
I hear these questions all the time. Distributors like Tech Data and Ingram Micro (which promotes managed services under the Ingram Micro Seismic moniker) are in a tricky spot. On the one hand, they should be applauded for offering customer choice as VARs evaluate their platform needs. But on the other, I wonder how distributors are helping VARs to make informed platform decisions?
Frankly, I have to beat myself up a bit because I need to start asking Ingram and Tech Data the very questions I've posed above. If you have more questions about how distributors are playing in the managed services market, please weigh in and I'll be sure to raise your thoughts as I conduct interviews in the weeks ahead.