Channel providers are facing increased competition and needing to continually prove the worth of the services they are selling. Below are the three biggest threats to managed services providers (MSPs), along with ideal solutions for each risk:
Homogeneity. One of the worst scenarios occurs when you’re actually an established MSP with a healthy channel presence. You may not be the top channel partner, but you’re successful — and then one day you get abruptly pushed out of the way by a “big-box” mentality that’s taking place at the headquarters of the service provider. I won’t name names, but it’s a common issue with many major carriers. They grow their channels and sign up partners nearly everywhere, which is great in itself, but eventually they hit a saturation point. The provider then attempts to push out most of the smaller MSPs, in favor of large ones who stick very close to the provider’s corporate look and feel. At this point, the MSP is faced with the prospect of being essentially forced out of the channel by large competitors.
An ideal provider will offer channel products under a “powered by” configuration. The MSP retains its established image, and the provider’s service becomes a tool that integrates into their toolbox. The rest is up to the partners. This arrangement is transparent and complementary from the start.
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