Managed services is among the most important business models in the channel, soaring toward maturity with its promise of deeper customer entanglement, increased recurring revenues and greater profits for solution providers that can master its idiosyncrasies. Moreover, the rapid onset of cloud computing in key managed services areas such as backup and recovery is accelerating the model’s potential for growth.
Despite managed services’ lucrative potential, the MSP community remains mired in low growth. Through varying degrees of habit, tradition and fear of the unknown, many MSPs still focus their core value on underlying technologies rather than the business outcomes produced by their services. They expend more energy and resources servicing existing accounts and less on cultivating new markets and account opportunities for their managed services practices.
Overcoming these entrenched legacy obstacles and attitudes to realize the full value of managed services requires a paradigm shift on the part of channel partners. The road to MSP success will not be built on increased technological acumen or capabilities – service providers must measure value in terms of their focus on customer needs and desires if they are to have any hope of managed services success. Cultivating successful and profitable MSP relationships requires an evolution toward consultative sales and a view of the client-partner engagement that assigns value to real-world outcomes.
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