The Managed Service Provider (MSP) sector is growing rapidly, in large part due to the ongoing evolution of cloud services, applications, and networking. MSPs are delivering a wide range of services, including infrastructure, device provisioning and management, cybersecurity, and everything up and down the enterprise IT stack. The most successful MSPs are IT experts, across all functional areas, including trials, project management, installation, training, monitoring, maintenance, upgrades, and customer support.
Because of the numerous enterprises across a variety of industries adopting the trend of digital transformation, the MSP industry has become one of the fastest-growing today. The global managed services market was valued at $161.37 billion in 2021, and it is expected to reach $311.32 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 12.44 percent.
“With their services in more demand than ever, MSPs have begun searching for ways to expand their range when seeking new clients,” said Scott Chasin, Chief Technology Officer at Pax8. “Unfortunately, MSPs have their own challenges during this process as well, with most MSPs lacking the business infrastructure to establish relationships. Because of this, many MSPs have taken to using cloud marketplaces to reach a wider audience.”
A cloud marketplace is a type of application marketplace, synonymous with a Software as a Service (SaaS) marketplace. At a cloud marketplace, customers can go to an online storefront to find, purchase, and manage cloud-based applications much more efficiently, so the MSPs can spend more time building relationships and attracting new customers.
“Our cloud IT marketplace goes beyond the natural operational benefits,” Chasin said. “When curated with a high degree of vetting and approving vendors and service providers, marketplaces also become an important virtual place where MSPs can learn about the latest technologies, without having to spend time or risk reselling solutions that have not gone through the kind of process Pax8 requires before we make offerings available to our MSP customers. This means MSPs can confidently recommend additional services that enhance the multidimensional value of cloud, including agility, scalability, cost benefits – leading to building a great reputation as an MSP, which stimulates growth.”
These marketplaces have already been extremely useful to MSPs. For MSPs, by leveraging a cloud marketplace platform they can easily quote, order, bill, and provision cloud products in one place, with one monthly bill, while taking their cloud operation offerings to the next level, reaching the level of cloud security expected by companies in the world today.
“As useful as cloud marketplaces are for MSPs, their resourcefulness increases, even more, when AI and automation applications are added into the mix,” Chasin explained. “The utilization of AI and automation within a marketplace to identify and leverage trends with no human intervention required.”
AI-driven marketplaces are already sprouting up rapidly, with 63 percent of B2B marketers already interested in using AI to identify trends. For MSPs, the use of embedding AI and automation to create these intelligent marketplaces can offer benefits that could improve their business outcomes.
“For MSPs, the power of an automated marketplace provides benefits across many of their daily processes,” Chasin said. “For example, there can be several repetitive, tedious, time-consuming tasks completed by employees daily, and MSPs can automate such processes and allow employees to focus on other essential tasks that require human attention. AI can streamline how invoices are managed, can check and validate the data against the contracts, extract data with care and accuracy, and so much more, automating repetitive processes with far fewer mistakes at a much lower cost.”
Because MSPs provide services to different customers simultaneously, Chasin explained it is “essential to manage the excessive workload while maintaining the service quality for better customer satisfaction. With AI and automation, tasks are optimized, and every action is calculated which allows MSPs to serve multiple customers in multiple industries and in multiple geographies at the same time.”
Edited by Erik Linask