MSPs Offer Better Cloud Security, Despite Obstacles

It's no secret that the limber and malleable nature of MSPs, which can offer large-scale service via partnerships despite low overhead, is making them increasingly the envy of larger partners and competitors.

But just because something isn't a secret doesn't mean small vendors have been all that vocal about it...until now.

Phil Lieberman of Lieberman Software said that while MSPs have experienced a very interesting evolution and could therefore potentially provide much better security and oversight for their MSP offerings compared to what is offered by the large providers, it's unclear whether the seemingly symbiotic relationship could spark antagonism. This is especially true, contends Lieberman with the advent of the cloud and, by extension, the need for cloud security.

Lieberman has an axe to grind with large vendors like Google and Microsoft, which he said will likely "savage" their MSP partners in this area.

"In general, it is pretty clear that the intentions of both Google and Microsoft plan to take as much of the MSP business they can for themselves, and take over the existing MSP's business," he said.

It is laughable, Lieberman added, that companies like "Microsoft and Google publicly say they want MSPs, SIs, and ISVs to promote their solutions, but it is clear that this will ultimately lead to their partners demise by shifting all of the revenue and control" of platforms to themselves.

Biases and predictions notwithstanding, the ace in the hole for MSPs is the SMB market, where MSPs and IT service shops excel in customer service and retention.

As cloud adoption picks up, MSPs can both upsell and tweak service options for existing customers with security and business continuity as a natural fit. A recent study by AMI predicts rising budgets for cloud architecture to the tune of 15 percent by 2015.

With the channel packed with cloud offerings it's safe to say that MSPs partnering with SMB clients will be in a better position to pick and choose sell-through and adoption of cloud technologies regardless of any moves by the big boys.

Posted by Jabulani Leffall on June 14, 2011 at 11:57 AM0 comments


Silver Lining in High Unemployment for MSPs

A common tale among many proprietors, partners and employees of IT service stand-alones and MSPs is one of lost jobs, layoffs or disenchantment with corporate structures, politics or the larger budgetary constraints among big companies that can often stifle innovation.

So it's no surprise that while employment in other sectors shrink, computer-related job growth has remained relatively steady month over month and even outpaced other vocations over time. Check out the numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics if you need proof.

A lot of it has to do with the limber nature and entrepreneurial flexibility of MSPs and small IT shops that cater to SMBs who either can't afford dedicated IT staff, don't need dedicated IT staff or simply find it more cost effective to farm out maintenance, implementation and monitoring activities of critical systems to people they can trust. In most cases, "people" tends to be MSPs.

As SMB technology spending picks up and fewer people are able to do more with far-reaching technologies such as cloud computing and off-site network operations center support, MSPs can employ both new sales and service techniques as well as new people.

Posted by Jabulani Leffall on June 14, 2011 at 11:57 AM0 comments