Cloud Updates Success Stories

Becoming An MSP To Meet Strategic Customer Needs And Boost Profitability

Many VARs are adding managed service capabilities to meet end-user requirements in the new cloud world. These new cloud services complement existing business models while meeting strategic customer needs, and boosting profitability. There are a number of key considerations to take into account, such as identifying what help you may need to augment your existing business model.

It is not difficult to understand why a Value Added Reseller (VAR) might want to align their services closer to those of a Managed Service Provider (MSP). Since the lift-off of the cloud, many companies have been spending a greater proportion of their IT budgets on software and services rather than hardware; and, if your business model is that of a traditional hardware-centric Value Added Reseller, you have likely been feeling the pinch while Managed Service Providers have been experiencing significant growth.

However, evolving your business model from traditional reselling to becoming a strategic service provider in the cloud is not straightforward. You need to have a strategy covering all angles, and the right people with the right skills in place in order to execute on it. No matter how well you develop a strategy and introduce the right people, process, and technology to make the strategy work, some of these challenges will be difficult to overcome. For this reason, many businesses looking to augment their existing business model to map to new cloud world requirements tend to do so in phases.


Step 1: Developing a strategy

How you develop a strategy will likely depend on your existing customer base and their business needs. Traditional hardware-centric VARs typically have a range of customers—some of whom will be looking to migrate workloads to the cloud in order to take advantage of the flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency of the cloud. These customers will be looking to you to advise them on issues such as migration, infrastructure design, multicloud management, and security.

In order to meet the expectations of your cloud-bound customers you need to look at what services you currently provide that align with their pain points, what capabilities you have that can be leveraged to meet their needs, and what new partnerships you will need to fill the gaps between what you are able to provide and what your customer expects. The best way to develop a strategy is to understand your customers’ challenges and find solutions for them.    

Step 2: Putting the right offering in place

Customers look to their service providers as a trusted advisor, especially during times of rapid change.  VARs and MSPs have complementary skill sets, but each offering is supported by a unique model of people, processes, and technology based on the requirements, in this case, the transition to the cloud. Consider what capabilities you have currently that you can leverage, what new skills will you need to have in place, and what new partnerships you will need to provide data-driven insight and an offering that meets customer needs.

Step 3: Be prepared to adapt in a rapidly-evolving environment

Things move much faster in the cloud than they do in on-premises environments and you need to be agile. As the market and your customers’ use of the cloud evolve, new and unique needs will arise. Be prepared to consistently refine and improve your offerings and strategy to meet customers needs. Some examples include evolving your tiered offerings, bolstering the capabilities of each tier, and adding unique professional services. You will learn from your experience with each customer and look to productize those offerings that are becoming important to customer requirements.

Evolving your business as an MSP

All value added resellers need to consider evolving their business to managed services to remain strategically relevant to their customer base as they move to the cloud. Organization are making use of eight clouds on average, creating new levels of complexity. To address this market trend, service providers are in a prime position to offer capabilities to help with workload migrations and ongoing management and optimization. Look to evolve your service capabilities and technology partner ecosystem to accelerate your cloud business.