When the “Modern Office” fires back
Over the past two years much has been made about Arnie Bellini’s plea to the IT Nation conference to think beyond the PCs and servers. In essence, ConnectWise has made the case that in order for service providers to thrive they have to expand their management services to everything else that is connected in the office. ConnectWise has also been putting it’s money where it’s mouth is, acquiring related technologies to make it possible: LabTech (for device management), Quosal for proposal management and sales quote automation, even a HaaS company in CharTec (though as of late they are being mentioned in the same breath less and less).
And you know what, it has been a right decision and a very good bet. LabTech has been thriving. Ditto for the partners. Last night I spent well over an hour talking to a partner from Australia that bought the whole stack and hasn’t looked back. Shameless promo: We too have been a huge supporter of the idea, integrating our whole stack into the business process management.
So everyone is happy and the MSP space certainly has nothing to worry about, right?
Well.. not so fast.
I’m at ITEX show in Las Vegas right now and have been talking to the attendees about the importance of the show specifically when it comes to managed print, imaging and storage solutions. One guess what is front and center on their list of concerns and what they consider to be their biggest opportunity. MSP’s traditional strongholds of workstations, PC’s and devices.
Here is the catch though: Imaging and printing shops know as much about managing PCs and networking projects as the IT guys know about printers. The partnerships that are forming across industries are going to be a new norm over the next few years and the question of build vs. buy is on the mind of many in the audience.
The conclusion is very much the same across the MSPs at CompTIA’s AMM last week and ITEX this week – manage everything or get squeezed out.