April 3, 2014: Now that we have described the typical SMB or even at an enterprise level customer IT environment and their requirements (please go back and read the previous blog entries to get an idea), let’s see discuss the key points that MSPs need to pay attention to in the changing managed services landscape. We will start with looking at the RMM solutions that seem to have spawned off a new generation of MSPs since a few years ago. There are a lot of good things that have come out of RMM solutions industry – but there are also problems with their products and business models. Lets take these issues one-by-one.
With the availability of the various RMM solutions and their aggressive marketing, they have forced the MSPs to become enslaved to their solutions. There is no differentiation between MSPs and there is no long term loyalty that the RMMs or the clients have with the MSPs – since the client knows that the next MSP that offers them a cheaper solution can work with the same RMM software. From an MSP’s perspective this is not a good thing. The real winners in this are the RMM companies that are stuffing their licenses down the collective throats of MSPs while MSPs are rushing around trying to find customers or retain existing ones so that they can operate on razor thin margins. True, the customer benefits from the lower pricing – but by swapping MSPs – for the cheaper MSP, they lose the knowledgebase that has been accumulated by the original MSP.
The MSPs are in a difficult situation. The presence of RMM’s means that the barriers to entry in the MSP business are very low. There was a time when having an RMM was a unique thing, a differentiator but now – it has lowered the entry barrier into the MSP game and removed differentiation. All the RMM vendors are pretty much hawking the same solutions with relatively minimal differentiation – specially as far as a client’s requirements are concerned. Their operating model is also pretty much the same also. Every one cries innovation – where is the innovation? Right now MSPs feel that they are held hostage to both the Client and the RMMs. Tough situation… (To be continued…)