By Charles Weaver, CEO and Founder, MSPAlliance
It may seem logical that many cloud providers are right now tackling issues related to infrastructure, sales and marketing, risk, and in general, how to make money as a provider of cloud computing services. Read blogs, tweets, and other digital communications, and these issues are very much a hot topic right now.
But, for MSPs, these issues are yesterday's news. You see, MSPs have already dealt with a majority of these issues in years past. Many MSPs view cloud computing as a mechanism for delivering managed services, and NOT a unique business model that requires a fundamental recalibration of how service providers do business.
The fact is, most MSPs don't care about where the infrastructure resides. Data center, MSP facility, customer premise — the location is irrelevant as MSPs have made their living for decades by managing and monitoring devices and applications remotely.
So, what's the problem with cloud providers?
Cloud providers seem to think they are in a unique situation, and they are not. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) that have already begun to deliver solutions via the cloud are largely, in my opinion, dealing with funding issues pertaining to how they can grow their businesses and expand their infrastructure capabilities in order to deliver more private cloud solutions.
Cloud resellers, a new form of value added reseller (VAR), many of whom have little or no experience in managed services, are the ones asking the questions that have already been asked and answered by many MSPs.
At MSPWorld 2013 (http://www.mspalliance.com/mspworld/) in Orlando (March 21-23), the issues I have referenced above will be addressed by senior MSP thought leaders in the halls and sidebar conversations, rather than in the regular sessions. My sense is that mature MSPs are willing to help cloud providers deal with these issues, primarily because MSPs have already seen what unprepared MSPs can do to the market. The last thing they want to see is unprepared cloud resellers doing the same for cloud computing.
A lot is at stake with cloud computing. MSPs have as much at risk as the cloud resellers and are willing to help guide those cloud resellers down the well trodden path. Cloud resellers would be well served to recognize the hard work MSPs have already done to make our profession, well, more professional.
MSPWorld 2013 sessions and conference highlights will include:
Charles Weaver is the CEO and Founder of the MSPAlliance. For the past 15 years, the MSPAlliance (www.mspalliance.com) has been the only unified voice for the Managed Services Industry, and the only organization that promotes the highest level of professionalism, reliability and integrity. As the world’s largest Professional Association and Accrediting Body for the Managed Services Industry, the MSPAlliance was created to meet the needs of the Managed Services Professional and to educate the end-user community on the benefits of using a Managed Service Provider.