In the rapidly changing world of technology, it's crucial that your partner business is flexible and agile - ready for how business will be conducted in the years ahead. We have already begun to see shifts to the cloud to increase business productivity. As that movement progresses, it's important to acknowledge the foundation of that shift.
Managed services is not a new business model. For years, large enterprises have relied on service providers to manage their IT assets. Whether called an outsourcer, an RMM provider, or a Managed IT provider, service providers have been managing their customers' workloads, either in their own data centers or those operated by their customers.
The concept of managed services stemmed from the idea that IT companies would provide their customers a higher level of support, that in turn would replace the usual break-fix approach. While break-fix is reactive, partners that offer managed services can be proactive when it comes to change management and adoption solutions, better connecting you to the customer so that you understand and meet the organization's needs. And, managed services provide recurring revenue, one of the keys to partner profitability.
I reached out to a few established managed service providers and asked them to share their thoughts about the value of running a managed services practice:
"The days of the server room, the server, the physical hardware, those days are going away. The days of having one person on a specific seat on the bus in your company, that's going away, too. As an MSP and as a Microsoft partner, you have to be willing to adapt. You have to be willing to get your hands dirty, reach out, engage, be involved, and then practice and implement. The days of deploying a server, the days of having mail locally, those days are gone, and so if you're not adapting and staying ahead of the curve, I guarantee some other IT company is asking your current customers the same questions so, why aren't you doing this? - Graham Cobb, Palmetto TG
"Managed services actually provides us another dimension in terms of how we can service clients. It is a different type of business. When you think about it, it really gives that full end-to-end solution for customers. We're seeing many more of these clients that need to have that full suite of support, whether it's IT, help desk, or service desk, they need to have that touch point." - Mark Haddad, SADA Systems
Here are three resources that will help you understand why and how to add managed services to your practice:
- The Modern Microsoft Partner Series eBooks - Part 2: Differentiate to Stand Out
- Build a cloud managed services practice and use Cloud Solution Provider as your foundation
- Azure Managed Services Playbook for CSP Partners (Download)
I'm excited to announce that I'll be leading a new business-building community about managed services. Whether you already identify your company as a managed service provider (MSP) and want to learn how to build a more profitable Microsoft practice, or you're just starting to develop your managed service offering, I invite you to join us. We'll share more information about the MSP Community in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I invite you to connect with me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @Parker_Levy, and on LinkedIn and Yammer. I look forward to hearing from you.