The PlatformBy Frank Ohlhorst | Posted 2008-04-30 Email Print
Find out what a solution provider needs to take into consideration before adopting managed services.
Most VARs investigating managed services find the hardware is the easy part, and it is the software and services platforms that generate the most confusion. After all, there are dozens of players looking to increase their partner counts and customer base.
Choosing a platform that offers the necessary services and a partner program compatible with the VAR's goals is imperative. A VAR must consider many factors, including the affordability of the services. In short, VARs will need to concoct a palatable recipe of offerings from the platform vendors. The ingredients the VAR needs to consider include the minimum number of seats that must be purchased (some platform vendors start at 1,000), the cost and level of training required, hardware investments (if any), marketing commitments and a host of other partner issues. Those choices, of course, are above and beyond the inherent technology offered.
For example, VARs will need to evaluate the services offered from the platform vendor. They should ask questions such as:
It is in the VAR's best interest to do the research and test the platforms before committing to anything. While some platform vendors tout their offerings as MSP in a box, there is no instant path to managed services. Fortunately, there is so much choice in the market, and the technology has matured, so becoming an MSP is possible for a VAR of any size serving customers of any size.