Cutting IN the Middle...ware
One of the opportunities that managed services provides is the ability of IT shops be innovative in a client stack, as well as create conduit-proprietary software or hardware configurations that complement partner products.
A good example of such an undertaking, especially for more of the entrepreneurial and tech-savvy minded MSPs, is middleware. By finding a middlware niche, an MSP can provide a degree of interoperability that supports SMB legacy systems, vendor products and other third-party partners.
One IT shop called inhouseIT, created an anti-spam system that was so effective with their product offerings that they spun the product off to a sister company called Spam Soap. In this case, not only has whole new business been derived from a middleware pet project to create more efficiency, but peer MSPs can also leverage the service for their clients.
Too often, MSPs are strictly concerned with serving the technology needs of SMB clients who are most often in verticals, where technology isn't the core business. In inhouseIT's case and in the case of Network Depot, which created Virtual Administrator, other MSPs can be the customers or strategic partners, an idea that sells itself.
It's kind of like cutting in the middle man – or middleware – instead of cutting him out.
Posted by Jabulani Leffall on July 27, 2010 at 11:57 AM