MSPs Think Like Buyers, Notice NOCs

Opinion: Solution providers moving to managed services will place more importance on the quality of the technology they are using.

As solution providers move to add managed services to their portfolio, an interesting transformation begins to take place.

Rather than thinking along the same lines as somebody trying to sell something, solution providers start to think like buyers, because the product selections that make up the service become technology decisions they have to live with for the long haul.

In that context, solution providers essentially morph into a type of buyer rather than reseller. That means that instead of seeing a product failure as just another opportunity to sell more product, the provider sees that product failure as something that eats into the bottom line, because it has to be serviced as part of a standard contract.

PointerAutomating an offerings lineup can be key to success as an MSP. Click here to read more.

So with every service call eating into the bottom line, the solution provider becomes very conscious of which products have the highest level of quality.

Given that development, it should come as no surprise that a lot of solution-provider loyalty is up for grabs right now, and the vendors that put the best program in place to help solution providers build their own managed services portfolios will probably be in the best position.

Taken in that light, the most immediate decision facing solution providers is who to rely on for the technology that will power the NOC (network operations center).

Traditionally, that decision is based on whether the provider has Windows or Linux running on Intel servers, or some variant of Unix or Linux running on RISC processors. Given the fact that there are a lot more solution providers and technicians familiar with Windows and Linux, Intel-based approaches are likely to dominate.

But given the fact that the major platform providers such as HP and IBM seem to be less than aggressive when it comes to coming up with programs that package their hardware, operating systems and management software together in a way that is attractive to an MSP that is looking at a recurring revenue model, maybe the emergence of the MSP model will be a seminal event that changes the competitive landscape.

At least that’s what the folks at Sun are hoping. Sun is betting that its efforts to send out engineers to help solution providers build out a managed service platform, and its plans to shortly start introducing solution providers to application vendors that have pricing models that are conducive to supporting business models based on recurring revenues, will pay off.

PointerShifting to a new business model isn’t easy for VARs; an MSP tries to show the way. Read more here.

Furthermore, Sun hopes that solution providers will recognize that unlike its rivals, Sun is not in the business of providing managed services directly. Instead, Sun is hoping that solution providers might even opt to run their services on top of Sun’s service, which is based on a $1-per-CPU-hour model.

It’s still early days when it comes to the MSP model, but solution providers evolving into MSPs are going to be a lot more interested in long-term product quality than they are in existing market share numbers, and, given that, the odds are good that a lot of them are going to be giving Sun a much closer look than they have in years.

Michael Vizard is editorial director of Ziff Davis Media’s Enterprise Technology group. He can be reached at [email protected]

Comment on this article
Be the first to comment on this article.
Managed Services
Channel Business
Distribution Channel
System Integration
IT Resellers
Software Vendors
Supply Chain Management
>” title=”>”/> Ziff Davis White Paper Library<br class=
>” title=”>”/> Baseline ROI Calculators<br class=
>” title=”>”/> eWEEK Labs RFPs and Tools
</div><!-- end ziffhtml //--></div></span></div></div><div style=
Add Channel News, Product Reviews, Trends and Analysis to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo!
Help boost your sales with BONUS PACKS.
Let BONUS PACKS help you sell more PCs – with up to $1,200 in valuable products and services. Visit Buy Local Partner site >>
Join the Microsoft Empower program for ISVs.
A relationship with Microsoft allows you to compete with the big dogs. Learn more about resources, tools and training. Get the documentation >>
Reporting piracy works. See the proof
Microsoft has filed over 50 lawsuits during the last year – with more to come. Learn more >>
Free Hands-On Training Lab
Find out how key features of SBS 2003 can help you open up a new line of revenue. Register now >>
SBS 2003 Sales Reference Card
This handy reference card contains features at a glance, sales objection handling, pricing guidelines & more. Get it now >>
Microsoft Empower for ISVs rewards your big idea with big benefits and support.
Access key development tools at a low cost to help you develop that idea into an innovative application. Learn more >>
Attention Microsoft Solution Providers!

High capacity. High Speed. High Value.
Seagate Momentus offers a variety of mobile drives to suit every taste.

There’s a variety of Seagate Momentus mobile drives to satisfy every taste.

Download a free perpendicular recording white paper!
>> brought to you by Seagate
Want to gain a competitive edge? Try Microsoft Watch FREE!

Each week you receive:
  • Microsoft News and Insider Information
  • Expert Analysis
  • Code Names of Upcoming MS Products
  • Year-Ahead Calendar, updated monthly
Click Here to sign up now for your FREE 14 Day Trial to Microsoft Watch.