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Distributors are working to help businesses build their services business, whether it’s cloud or managed services, but when a solutions provider has already built out their own services practice, how does a managed services suite from distribution affect their business and relationships? Following Synnex’s ( announcement of its partnership with Level Platforms earlier during the Varnex community conference to provide a managed services suite to its customers, resellers weighed in on the offering specifically and managed services in general..

Varnex prospect Hossein Taei of Gaithersburg, Md.-based FutureNet attended the conference as a candidate for membership in the community. As a reseller that has focuses its core business model on reselling hardware and software since 1991, Taei said his company hasn’t entered the managed services market in part because of the staff required to run such a business (he has six employees).

“We don’t have the staff to prepare for it and we’re not expanding the number of employees. We’re focused on hardware and not really services,” Taei told Channel Insider.

Up until the Varnex conference, Taei said he hadn’t looked into selling managed services, but he noted that because of the way the industry is moving, it would be a direction FutureNet would move if he saw the opportunity to do so.

With Synnex’s offering, Taei was still on the fence about making the switch, but he said if he decided to join Varnex (something he still hadn’t made up his mind about), he would consider the Synnex/Level Platforms offering.

“We think we have to go that way,” Taei said.

Another reseller (and member of the Varnex Advisory Council) had also not made the switch to managed services but is now moving in that direction thanks to the Synnex offering.

“Instead of offering a managed services tool in their list of SKUs, Synnex’s managed service suite has removed the barriers that have kept resellers from moving into managed services. This is invaluable to the reseller community,” said Paul Whalley, president of Southwick, Mass.-based Whalley Computer Associates.

For newcomers to managed services, the offering might be enough to finally make the leap into the space, but many resellers have been building out their own managed services practices for the last few years. The launch of managed services suites from distributors is going to give their competitors who haven’t yet done so the ability to sell managed services. There may not be much to worry about, though.

“If there’s competition, that’s fine, too. It doesn’t bother me so much because it helps customers decide. When you’re going in and selling where there is no choice, it can actually be more difficult for the customer,” said Sean Kline, president and CEO of Manchester, NH-based Turbotek. Kline acquired the 24-year-old business more than a year ago after it had already made the transition to selling managed services.

Kline noted that he has traditionally shied away from managed services offerings from distributors because his company has its own managed services practice, but he said he thought what Synnex was providing was a good solution that could complement his own services.

“The whole notion of getting recurring revenue and customer intimacy is very appealing,” Kline said. Providing managed services has its challenges and risks, but he said Turbotek has build good managed services business with recurring revenue that has transformed the company over the last few years.