MSP Today Week in Review

By Doug Barney

It was another busy week in MSP Today land, chock full of new partner programs, radical pricing schemes, MPS surveys and broad managed cloud services.

Unitrends Sets Partner Pace

On the partner side, there is a new Unitrends Service Provider Program that “equips hosting, managed services and cloud providers with the agile infrastructure needed to simply and cost-effectively offer onsite and offsite backup and disaster recovery services to their customers,” a spokesperson said.

Unitrends calls its program “revolutionary” and promises to be the Bee’s Knees when it comes to recurring revenue.

This program comes on the heels of a new storage pricing plan from Asigra. Instead of focusing most costs on backing up data, almost all the cost would be incurred only when recovering.

“We felt the industry was again pricing on the wrong metric. It's not fair. Customers back up for recovery and nobody recovers all of their data. Our model is based on how much or really how little data you recover,” Eran Farajun, executive vice president at Asigra said in announcing the recent Asigra recovery-based pricing model.

Offshore vs. Cloud

With the continued expansion of the cloud there is renewed in interest in what is the best outsourcing approach, offshore vs. cloud.

A recent piece in analyzed these issues and sees offshoring and the cloud as entirely complimentary.

“While the increased use of industrialized services will reduce the volume of traditional and customized services, the impact on offshore providers will be counterbalanced by new revenue from investments in cloud-based services, said Gartner, Inc. However, service providers that are slow, unable or unwilling to invest in the shift to the cloud will risk hampering offshore services revenue growth,” Biztech2 reported.

The move to the cloud will lead offshore providers to change their approaches, not competing with the cloud but instead adding value.

“Cloud-based services will not replace offshore services, but will complement them,” said Ian Marriott, research vice president at Gartner. “In addition, cloud services will not 'make or break' all offshore providers. There will always be a need for "pure-play" providers that operate a labor-intensive delivery approach. But, for broad-based offshore providers that operate in multiple geographies, industries and service lines, and who seek to compete for significant 'wallet share' in major accounts, strategic investments in cloud-based services are mandatory.”

If the offshore provider doesn’t adapt, it may well go under. According to Gartner, providers from India are growing more slowly than in the past, but is still clocking in with a nearly 13 percent growth rate last year.

GFI MAX Survey Says

GFI MAX, which is 100 percent aimed at MSPs, recently surveyed 185 MSPs (the company has way more than that as partners) to explore issues such as profits, staff, utilization and business and technical agility.

The MSP survey shows that a solid two-thirds of those asked report that demand for their managed services is on the rise, and grew this year compared to last.

In another finding, MSPs don’t fully exploit all the features available to them, the survey reports. The survey shows that 43 percent exploit fewer than half the features available to them. While one may argue the MSPs are fully taking advantage of the software, you could also argue that MSPs are focused the features they really need to deliver specific and sometimes narrow services.

Agile has a specific mean for software developers, meaning a faster way of writing and then iterating applications.

For MSPs agile means the software is adaptable, and for many this software is not adaptable enough. “Nearly one-quarter of managed services providers said their businesses would be more profitable if the software solutions that they’re currently using were more agile and better fit the evolving needs of their customers,” GFI said.

Savvy Savvis Service

Savvis last week shipped its Savvis Cloud Data Center, a new service based on Cisco's Unified Data Center and VMware vCloud Director 5.1 that supports hybrid clouds.

The new Cloud Data Center focuses on virtual private data centers, allowing clients to build software-defined data center services and have security, storage, compute and the network all easily managed.

MSPToday Editor at Large

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