How “Done for You” Services will save the MSP Business
It is no big secret that many Managed Service Provider (MSP) businesses are struggling in the current economy. Though many have speculated that the economy is turning around, industry leaders like Karl Palachuk have voiced their concerns about another five years of instability.
This same instability has forced technology equipment and software vendors to change their strategies, and look ahead to a future that relies less on a channel network. With fewer orders from IT solution providers, vendors have had no choice but to come up with direct models.
The MSP model has inadvertently created a genre of services I like to call “Done for You” Services. With the breadth of products and solutions required to run an MSP practice, a sometimes high learning curve, and a minimal staff; MSP’s required service based solutions that helped address each of these problems. “Done for You” services address these by providing end to end solutions, allowing MSP’s to become aggregators of services and focus on sales to grow their revenues, rather than the ins and outs of deploying new services.
A number of vendors have provided just these types of solutions to partners. They provide the installation, setup, support, and some even include billing. Cloud services, marketing and web solutions, help desk and support, and even backup vendors are providing “Done for You” Services.
Some of the advantages that MSP’s using “Done for You” services realize are low to no startup fees, no certification requirements, minimization of staff requirements, ability to maintain the client relationship, as well gained efficiency and time management. The biggest advantage for MSP’s is the high profit margin that comes with services that require no support and only vendor and client management.
In this model sales and relationship becomes the main focus of the business. Though this may be difficult for many tech-focused providers to adapt to; a sales and relationship focus is what will save the MSP business.
As we move into the future of a very different IT landscape, MSP’s will once again need to adapt to change. Just as it was required to move from a traditional break-fix model to an MSP model; I see the new “ASP” (Aggregated Services Provider) model taking shape to be the next evolution of our industry.