Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

The ability to establish a unique and differentiated brand identity as an MSP is critical in building trust with clients and partners while ensuring relevance in a competitive landscape.

Channel Insider: Partner POV host, Katie Bavoso, recently sat down with Carlos Marques, Director of Technology at Mainline Information Systems to delve into Mainline’s remarkable growth trajectory, its unique selling proposition, and how it intends to handle the end of its partnership with VMware.

Listen to the podcast:

Watch the video:

Mainline’s legacy of embracing technology and prioritizing authenticity

Mainline’s growth journey since its inception in 1989 is tied to its ability to adapt to emerging technologies and evolving client demands. The company’s competitive edge lies in its array of differentiated offerings and value-added products and services which it tailors to support its clients’ infrastructure, applications, and data asset needs.

“We are a trusted advisor and we typically serve large enterprise accounts and all sorts of verticals from the federal space, state and local government, as well as healthcare, hospitals, and a variety of industries,” Marques told Bovoso.

In his role as Director of Technology — a role that is relatively new to the company — Marques noted that he actively participates in client calls and engagements to foster direct communication channels and build credibility as a trusted advisor. “It’s been important for me to make sure that I stay very close to what our clients are asking of us. I go on client calls several times a week.”

Establishing trust with clients by providing an honest assessment of Mainline’s capabilities also helps build credibility in an overcrowded marketplace. Rather than agreeing to every client request, prioritizing transparency and authenticity ensures that the company only commits to collaborative initiatives that deliver value and success. “There’s a tendency as a vendor to say yes to just about everything because it could result in a sale, and that’s not exactly the best way to establish trust,” he pointed out.

“We want to establish trust that if [clients are] coming to us with some sort of initiative or some sort of critical thing they want to solve, that we’re able to tell them yes or no, that’s something we can help with.” The emphasis the company places on trust and transparency underscores its client-centric approach and ensures that client engagements are driven by mutual understanding, respect, and collaboration.

Featured Partners: Managed Service Provider (MSP) Software

Nurturing collaborative partnerships

Mainline’s robust partner ecosystem serves as a cornerstone of its commitment to delivering cutting-edge technological solutions. Through strategic partnerships with industry leaders, the company ensures that it covers every best-of-breed vendor from A to Z.  Affirming the role of partnerships in driving innovation and value for clients, he disclosed that the company’s best partner is IBM, especially with its mainframe modernization initiatives.

“The mainframe platform continues to be an innovative platform that a lot of clients are investing in. And it’s rock-solid reliable.”

IBM’s platform with its Red Hat acquisition opens new avenues for clients to leverage solutions like Red Hat OpenShift which can be seamlessly integrated into cloud environments like AWS. Strategic collaborations the company has built with storage vendors like VAST and Infinidat promise to help its clients unlock the potential of AI and machine learning, while its partnerships with Palo Alto and Fortinet help build its reputation as a leading security solutions provider.

“From a security and network perspective, we’re obviously very interested in what happens with the HPE Juniper acquisition as it unfolds. We have a great relationship with both vendors and both vendors have great wireless products, so it will be very interesting to see how that works.”

With its diverse and extensive partner ecosystem, the company remains poised to address the evolving technological landscape and deliver significant value to clients. “Our partnerships fuel our ability to offer the latest innovations and ensure our clients stay ahead in an ever-changing digital world.”

How MSPs can adapt to industry shifts with finesse

Navigating changes in the technology landscape can be challenging for any organization. In addressing shifts such as Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware, Marques noted that the company has various avenues to address the situation, such as VMware licensing through OEMs like Lenovo, and highlighted the company’s strengths in exploring alternatives to VMware through solutions like Kubernetes and OpenShift.

Looking to the future, he cited a major growth area as migrating clients from their legacy systems. ”For us in particular, because of our relationship with IBM and our history with the IBM Enterprise business, we believe that more and more of our clients that have some of our legacy technologies are going to be looking to modernize those.”

He also emphasized the growing importance of zero-trust architectures and the potential of containerization and container-based storage solutions in reshaping how clients manage their infrastructure.

Overall, the insights he shared underscore how MSPs who are dedicated to innovation, client-centricity, and adaptability can differentiate themselves in an evolving landscape, pivot to stay ahead of industry events and excel beyond those who rest on their laurels.

Tune into the video or podcast above for more insights from Katie Bavoso and Mainline’s Carlos Marques — and be sure to like and subscribe for future interviews with solution providers and thought leaders, plus special episodes and opportunities!

Who else made the HSP250? Browse the whole list to find out!