Karl Kleinert | August 18, 2020
Intro to MSPs
Demand for MSPs is skyrocketing as businesses move to “X-as-a-service” models and more businesses seek support moving to the cloud. In fact, the global managed services market is projected to grow 9.6 percent globally over the next five years.1
Managed Service Providers, or MSPs, maintain and operate their customers’ IT infrastructure, and offer management and monitoring services for their customers’ end-user systems and networks. In the IT world, an MSP is analogous to a general contractor. Like any general contractor, an MSP has to be the orchestrator and glue for their clients’ IT framework, offering a dizzying array of technology solutions: cloud and traditional infrastructure, configuration and implementation services of hardware and software, plus system optimization and monitoring. Yet, they still don’t (and can’t) do everything, because no company goes to market alone.
It is potentially high praise to call MSPs the “linchpin” of anything, much less the channel. So why the bold assertion? In this blog, we will explore it from two different angles: MSPs as the general contractor for clients and MSPs as the execution engine for other IT solution providers or partners. We’ll let you be the judge.
What Do MSPs Offer Their Clients?
Firstly, peace of mind. When a client hires an MSP, they have the advantage of knowing that their networks are protected and monitored 24/7. Skilled MSPs have advanced monitoring tools which provide exceptional network security. Speaking of security, MSPs also have the capabilities to deal with security threats due to efficient and comprehensive backup and disaster recovery plans of action.
They’re also highly cost-effective – many MSPs offer all-inclusive pricing which means unexpected and expensive repair services are covered by a fixed monthly cost. There are other pricing models on offer too, such as per-device or per-user pricing which means clients can easily select an MSP that fits their specific business needs.
There is an ever-increasing variety of complex business solutions that can be managed by MSPs in various IT sectors. Take automation, for example. There are certain repetitive tasks in every company – MSPs can perform an audit to work out what these tasks are and create personalized automation solutions for a business.
One of the greatest benefits of collaborating with an MSP is that they allow companies to outsource specialist skill sets. No single company can hire in-house for every aspect of their IT needs (which can change quickly). Small and medium-sized businesses (SMB’s), for example, will tend to have somewhat limited IT capabilities in-house, so this makes them a perfect customer for an MSP. They gain IT expertise which can be used to supplement the staff they have in-house, without the hassle or cost of hiring and training the required staff.
Last but not least, MSPs ensure companies avoid the dreaded “break-fix” work style. The management services that MSP’s offer can help to reduce (or prevent) the number of IT issues your company experiences before they happen. No more waiting for a system failure and hoping IT can fix it before it leaves a negative impact on your business – MSP’s help you to stay ahead of the curve due to constant monitoring, patches, and security.
We spoke with Ruben Diaz, Director of Sales, and Jim Stackhouse, Founder and CEO, of NeoLore Networks Inc., an MSP and MSSP firm specializing in everything from security to cloud migration. Jim noted the benefits of working with an MSP:
“MSPs provide immense value by being able to work faster, more efficiently, and more cost effectively than someone would be able to in-house. We don’t have all the red tape that many large companies do, which makes us more agile and able to deliver holistic solutions quickly.”
Ruben continued: “NeoLore, and MSPs in general, offer a unique value proposition. Many IT support companies that list MSP as a service they offer only have one or two technicians that provide support, and they aren’t focused solely on support; in many cases they are doing other consulting work as well. With us, you get a full dedicated support team of MSP professionals ready to support 24/7.”
Why Solution Providers Want to Partner with MSPs
There are two types of IT solution providers most likely to target and work with MSPs: web developers and consulting firms. For web developers, MSPs can help with a host of issues such as managing and growing traffic, capturing data, data analysis, and cloud hosting solutions.
For consulting firms, MSPs can provide services with a multitude of operational benefits such as extending infrastructure, auditing all systems, process analysis, and more. At a fraction of the price, companies such as these can achieve the same benefits as adding an entire IT department would provide.
An MSP handles the daily chores of IT so that developers and consultants can focus on the core of business for clients. They provide the backbone for the critical cloud and infrastructure that underlies IT. Of course, these are just two common types of businesses that would benefit from partnering with an MSP – any company that requires a range of IT solutions can be enhanced through such a partnership.
How Can P2P Global Help?
While it may sound like MSPs do everything, no company can be everything to all clients. In the same way a general contractor often needs subcontractors, it is beneficial for MSPs to partner with solution providers in order to offer complete solutions for clients and go to market. MSPs need an expansive network to deliver on projects.
The challenge for MSPs, or firms looking to partner with MSPs, lies in how they build those networks. Partnering ad hoc is highly opportunistic and can drain a lot of resources. Luckily, there is a more efficient way.
P2P Global provides the perfect marketplace for MSPs to find and be found. This is increasingly important as the IT industry evolves at a staggering pace and the demands of clients broaden and become more complex. P2P Global provides an environment for solution providers and MSPs to showcase their skills, company information, certifications, testimonials, and more in our P2P ecosystem. Companies can provide details of new opportunities for MSPs to respond to, and our “matchmaking” system provides a selection of qualified, vetted partners suited to your project needs.
Not only that, but we provide opportunities for marketing partnerships and comarketing. As Robin Robins, founder of TechnologyMarketingToolkit.com, shrewdly observed2, MSPs that are doubling down on marketing and sales are outpacing competitors who are not. P2P Global enables you to create partnerships that help your firm reach new markets.
P2P Global currently has multiple top-tier MSPs in our ecosystem, whose skills would be invaluable to firms with clients who could benefit from a deeply skilled MSP. Jim Stackhouse of NeoLore discussed challenges facing MSPs and their partners, and the value P2P Global adds to their ecosystem:
“The MSP market is the fastest-growing marketplace out there right now. Because of this, there are numerous companies newly claiming to be MSPs. While these companies offer managed services, their MSP services are often secondary to their primary offerings. The challenge facing MSPs is that they have to not only stand out in this saturated market, but also convince a company that they can provide IT services quicker and more cost-effectively than hiring or developing a custom solution in-house.
This means that the primary challenge for customers – and partners – is finding a good MSP that they can trust. It’s akin to finding a mechanic: finding a good one can be extremely difficult, but once you do, you stick with them forever. P2P Global adds immediate value for IT solution providers in that it cuts through the noise and makes it much easier to find a trusted MSP partner and collaborate – almost like a headhunter for IT firms. It also enables us to easily be matched with a deeply skilled partner when we need extra hands to fill skill gaps on projects.”
As you can see, there are several benefits awaiting MSPs that implement an organized P2P approach to collaborating.
As the “general contractor” of the IT world, MSPs are involved in every facet of digital transformation. As such, they are called upon to do a wide variety of things, big and small, for clients. Without a network of partners in place, they will be unable to deliver and scale.
For solution providers, partnering with an MSP allows them to expand their business scope, creating a more robust and secure infrastructure for customers and delivering peace of mind (along with saving on expenses). This enables partner firms to provide comprehensive, scalable solutions for projects that they otherwise would have had to decline. Finding the right MSP is important, as every company will have different business needs and therefore require personalized solutions; that’s where P2P Global comes in.
Whether you’re a solution provider in need of help from an MSP or an MSP looking to partner, P2P Global can help you build the partner ecosystem you need to collaborate efficiently and complete projects! Schedule time to talk with us about the platform and learn more.