Our friends at IT Glue (Disclosure: Collabrance is an IT Glue customer, and we love them!) recently published their “2020 Global MSP Benchmarking Report: Pre & Post COVID Analysis,” and I recommend you download a copy. This report has a lot of good information on many topics for the IT Channel related to the MSP business model. In this blog I wanted to share three pieces of information I found very interesting in this managed services report - not related to COVID – that I think any MSP should consider…
I’m not much of a dancer, but when I saw these numbers I thought of the Texas Two-Step. How much time is spent by MSPs dancing around with IT vendors? I find it shocking to see so many MSPs are considering changing their RMM and PSA tools. I’m sure this data makes the technology tool set providers giddy with opportunity.
So, why am I shocked? This data shows that at any time during the past three years, one third of MSPs are in the market for a new RMM or PSA tool. I understand that many times when companies start out they use free or entry-level platforms, and need to convert at some time to a tool that is more scalable and feature rich. I get that. I can’t believe the one third represents all newer, less mature MSPs. What if you took the time to work with your current provider to make sure you are fully utilizing the tool you currently use? Also, if the allure of “cheaper” is the primary motivation, I would challenge those MSPs to speak to your peers who have done a similar conversion. The time, effort and expense to switch is high. What if you took all the time, effort and expense you pour into the evaluation of the new tool and repurposed those resources to land new MRR?
Some of the reasons MSPs work with Collabrance are because we do the evaluating and vendor management for PSA and RMM tools we provide to them. This helps MSPs we work with gain more time to put back into the business while also creating a cost savings they can allocate elsewhere.
The fact that total devices for MSPs are growing year over year is no surprise. The fact that the number of servers has been flat for three years seems right. Virtualization continues to become more and more common.
So why is this interesting to me? Internet of Things (IoT) is adding to the total device count. Think of the impact COVID will have with just one technology: thermal cameras. Most buildings have been or soon will be retrofitted with thermal cameras. Who is selling these devices? Who is managing these devices? MSPs! IoT will continue to be a bigger part of the typical MSP business in the future. More devices means more opportunity!
The last point I’d like to highlight reviewing IT Glue’s Report is the proverbial “Where MSPs Need Help” question every MSP survey asks. You can see the three common themes MSPs have struggled with for years: Sales, Marketing and Technical.
Although sales is still the number 1 need for MSPs, the IT Glue team made an interesting comment about the technical need:
“Finding good technical staff, on the other hand, is a perpetual problem, and it’s one that probably only gets worse as an MSP scales, especially ones that have a technical owner who no longer has time to influence the technical side of the business. Not only did “Technical” come in at #2 this year, it was almost #1 as the biggest area where MSPs report needing the most help.”
The IT Glue Report talks about how MSPs have outsource options when it comes to sales and marketing, but failed to mention there are a number of vendors in the market who can help with scaling the technical side of the MSP.
MSPs who find value in outsourcing to a Master MSP are able to be backed by a team of IT experts and talent to help scale their business. Another way Collabrance helps MSPs find and hire technical talent is through our GreatAmerica company PathShare® HR Services.
I greatly appreciate our friends at IT Glue for taking the time to both do the survey and then make it available to the IT Channel for free! If you want your own version of the report please click here.
During this time of difficulty we are living today from a business perspective. It forces us to look at our business with a more critical lens to see if there are areas we can improve. I wish all of you success as you navigate through these trying times and hope you are able to come out the other side stronger.
Greg VanDeWalker, Senior Vice President of IT Channel and Services, is responsible for the strategic vision and performance of Collabrance and the GreatAmerica IT and Unified Communication Financing business units. Greg has consistently been recognized for his leadership in the IT channel. Most recently, he was named a ENX Difference Maker 2017. He was also honored by CRN in 2016-2018 as Channel Chief, and was named on the "100 People You Don't Know But Should" list in 2015. Greg has also served as Chair of the inaugural Managed Print Services Community of CompTIA, and has helped various advisory boards in the IT, Telephony and Office Equipment channels.