Customer demands in today’s ever-evolving environment requires MSPs to urgently rethink their business model, reevaluate unique market offerings and offer speed, quality, and innovation.

Andrew Cameron Andrew Cameron Business Manager Cisco Volume at Dicker Data
Andrew Cameron

Growth & Profitability: aligning market opportunities with customer demands

On Thursday 30 July, I had the pleasure of hosting the Managed Service Provider (MSP) Profitability Clinic webinar.

Keynote speakers included:

  • Mark Iles, Executive Consultant and Industry Analyst, Tech Research Asia
  • Luke Power, Director, Partner Organisation Australia and New Zealand, Cisco
  • Nick Paddon-Row, Solutions Engineer, Pure Storage
  • David Kosman, Head of Global Cloud Services Providers, Cohesity

In part one of this blog series, Dicker Data set the scene looking at the current MSP landscape, with key industry insights presented by Mark Iles including how MSPs can increase customer retention, improve operational efficiency and profitability in today’s market.

The industry's new mandate

Thrust into a world of uncertainty, COVID-19 has forced organisations to redefine operations and address the challenges of today, with a readiness for the solutions of tomorrow. Business resilience is non-negotiable and as Mark Iles highlighted, customer demands in today’s ever-evolving environment requires MSPs to urgently rethink their business model, reevaluate unique market offerings and offer speed, quality, and innovation.

In response to the market analysis, Cisco’s Luke Power presented the ‘perform for today and transform for tomorrow’ model. The bimodal strategy aims to address the rapidly evolving IT landscape by investing in current transformation to deliver future capabilities. From a business resilience lens, the model offers solutions that meet today’s business goals while still being able to evolve for the future. This means creating new revenue streams, maximising customer experience and offering game-changing and scalable initiatives to expand your edge.

Cohesity’s David Kosman advocated the importance of constant improvement and said, “Today’s market presents the opportunity to continuously innovate traditional practices and introduce new service offerings available for MSPs to address market demands.”

Embracing innovation is business critical 

As we enter the next phase of the pandemic, MSPs need to be cognisant of the different ways IT is purchased and consumed and come up with new models to create unique customer value. For example, As-a-Service models will guarantee revenue streams and provide a level of business resilience.

Pure Storage’s Nick Paddon-Row introduced the “Pure as-a-Service” offering, a consumption-based subscription model that addresses demands for financial and operational flexibility. The subscription service allows MSPs to efficiently manage unified hybrid cloud storage backed by post-sales professional services. Improving profitability, the service also offers a variety of block, file and object storage services that can be deployed on-premises and in the public cloud.

Profitability also relies on customer retention. MSPs will need to consistently deliver real value and adopt emerging technologies to drive innovation, deliver on business outcomes, exceed customer expectation, and offer a competitive edge.

Customers are looking for partners that meet their specific needs in terms of programs, performance, unique value, speed, agility, and customised solutions. Pure Storage’s Nick Paddon-Row highlighted the need for MSPs to shift customer approaches from product-based conversations to a solution-sell. This allows MSPs to align product and services with client’s business-based outcomes and objectives.

Luke Power encouraged, “Have a conversation with customers about what their pain points are and identify the products/services that will provide them with a solution, rather than focusing on the specific technology.”

Nick Paddon-Row added, “By aligning the buying model with client’s needs, we reduce potential waste and additional cost of unpredictable workloads. More importantly this increases MSPs ability mitigate risk, upsell and improve services to retain customers.”

Cohesity’s David Kosman also emphasised the need for customisation, “Collaborating with clients to create a tailored service, aligned with business models, helps reduce friction and costs.”

A rise of "As-a-Service"

Now more than ever, the onus is on MSPs to reinvent and reassess solution offerings with saleable programs. As more organisations recognise that digital transformation is business critical, they are looking to invest in robust and flexible long-term solutions.

It is about “disruptive managed services,” speed, enhanced user experiences and offering solutions to maximise ROI and improve performance. As-a-Service offerings enable users to scale on-demand, purchase in monthly subscriptions and allows MSPs to maximise profitability with guaranteed annuity and upselling capabilities.

Cisco, Pure Storage and Cohesity demonstrate unique service offerings 

Empowering MSPs to expand their edge now for the future, Luke Power highlighted the need for different buying options and centers, integrated models, platform-enabled outcomes, and enhanced customer experiences. In response, Dicker Data and Cisco have launched the Cloud & Managed Services Program (CMSP), an award winning offering that offers go-to-market resources and cloud/managed services to advance the role of MSPs with speed, quality and profitability, across all market segments. The program differentiates partners as Providers and addresses business resiliency solutions, fit to customer’s needs.

Gartner Magic Quadrant leader, Pure Storage works with MSPs to simplify and provide infrastructure, hybrid and multi-cloud solutions, and complex IT services. Offering robust partner programs, the benefits and business value derived from Pure’s offering includes: lower cost ownership, minimised risk, strategic partnership prospects, increased growth, revenue, and innovation opportunities.

Nick Paddon-Row highlighted how the Evergreen Storage program is a key differentiator for Pure, delivering a subscription-based service. The Program operates like a SaaS model, lasts for the entire lifecycle of assets, and applies a cloud-like approach to on-premise storage. Additionally, it eliminates migration from provider to provider and reduces the need for forklift technology rebuys and planned downtime.

On the as-a-service front, Nick Paddon-Row discussed the benefits of the Pure as-a-Service, model. He highlighted the service enables modern data experiences, enhances MSP’s portfolios, and improves end-user experience. Furthermore, it minimises assets on balance sheet, aligns expenses with usage, simplifies capacity planning and is an on-ramp to the hybrid private and public cloud with on-demand models. He said, “These innovative services initiate the ability to boost up-sell and cross-sell capabilities, reduce risk and costs of unpredictable workloads.”

Cohesity work closely with partners, offering purpose built and saleable modern data management, hyperconverged solutions of security data, applications, and architecture at scale. The key Cohesity difference is the ability to scale out operations, provide global space efficiency, actionable search, interact directly with service providers, instant mass restores, run apps, and integrate cybersecurity.

David Kosman said, “In addition to innovation, MSPs need to look at opportunities that boost profitability in the current environment.” Key drivers to Cohesity’s partnerships are the ability for MSPs to optimise go-to-market (GTM) via productisation and pay per use.

Cohesity’s Partner Program value proposition is articulated through four pillars:

  • The first pillar is built for cloud, with lower cost of ownership, MSP-ready use cases and solutions
  • Flexible consumption pricing, allowing MSPs to implement subscription models, known as the pay-per-use model, exclusive to MSPs working with Dicker Data to help consumers scale as they grow
  • The success at scale methodology which takes into consideration, scope, connects with MSPs ahead of partnerships agreements, offers unique co-design workshops, learning and training pathways and energise element factoring in effective and repeatable GTM
  • The fourth pillar is the go-to-market support, bringing opportunities to MSPs and end users

To learn more about the evolving MSP landscape and how you can best position your services to transform and perform in the future, you can watch the full webinar here. 

*Note you will need to enter the following password to listen to the webinar: 9rMt3FZJ

For any further enquiries or to explore an opportunity, partners can reach out to Michelle Thompson


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