The Evolving MSP

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It's Time for Partners To Get Serious About Remote Work Solutions

In their next round of decisions, your customers are going to determine who gets to continue working from home, who returns to the office, and who gets to switch back and forth. No matter what they decide, you need to be ready to help them achieve their goals.

This presents a whole new potential path of evolution for MSPs, one that wasn't really anticipated when we first launched this blog, but now may become the preferred go-to model for many.

First, Pick Your Acronym
Since "CSP" is already taken by Cloud Solution Providers, our choice between Collaboration Solutions Provider and Team Solutions Provider becomes simple. The key word is "Team."

That's a word that has most recently gone through the same re-definition mill we've put so many words through: cloud, partner, transformation, down, container, bit, farm and plenty of others. The most recent one is team. And customers all over the world are already seeking better team solutions, so the opportunity for Team Solutions Providers is already exploding.

So Much To Sell, and So Much of It MRR
I'm the guy who keeps insisting that monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is not the holy grail of computing services, but it's certainly a nice chunk of the whole picture. I still maintain that every project you undertake should lead you directly to MRR opportunities, and reading the reports from those MRR services should clue you into new project opportunities. The longer you can keep that looping around, the better off you are.

The argument between centralized and distributed computing seems over because even the users are now distributed. Everybody is everywhere. You can't just drop a big switch and router into a building and provision everyone to their productive futures. You also can't simply focus on securing the threat surface at that office building. Each employee's home is now part of your threat surface.

Tell Us Your Story

How are you evolving your MSP practice to keep up with the changes that remote work has wrought? We want to know! E-mail Howard at [email protected] and share your experience with other RCP readers.

Looking at it the other way, you will need to sell your customers far more sophisticated security strategies, though secure access service edge (SASE) holds some promise to keep some expenses down. Users will need more mobile devices and more small gear to connect their mobile devices to the network. And everybody will need new communication and collaboration platforms, new data sharing and data security solutions. Most of all, everyone's IT policies will need a huge overhaul.

Everything just described represents a lot of new revenue for you as a service provider, and there's plenty more we haven't touched on yet. And this is where we get to turn the tables a bit.

You as a Team Solutions Provider (TSP) or Maybe a Remote Solutions Provider (RSP)
Solving and serving the needs of remote employees goes way beyond the mobile strategies many of us have been selling for years. The interactions are more varied and complicated -- home office to office, or to conference room, or all three, or hotel, airport, beach...who knows?

The nature of collaboration is poised to change, too, and that's extremely exciting.

We'd like to know your thoughts, what you're seeing out there among the remote workers. How are you helping them be more productive and less vulnerable? What services have you been providing to them that you never delivered before the pandemic? How is your practice expanding and how are you evolving as an MSP?

Let's discuss it! If you'd like to participate in this conversation, see your name in print, impress your friends and associates and demonstrate your thought-leadership, please e-mail me at [email protected]. Just tell me a bit about your company and yourself, and I'll turn around an invitation to chat so I can share your observations with your channel community. This is a great community -- help make it greater!

Posted by Howard M. Cohen on October 01, 2021