MSPs Enable Enterprises to Accelerate Growth at Top Speed

MSPs Enable Enterprises to Accelerate Growth at Top Speed

By Greg Tavarez

Many organizations implement strategies to improve their operational efficiencies while saving time and saving money. Employees who spend less time waiting for repairs on malfunctioning equipment spend more time doing their job, ultimately raising the profits of the company. So, it’s no wonder as to why the MSP market is on the rise.

MSP services break away from the traditional break-fix IT model where employees had to wait for repairs to a hard drive crash or overheated devices, for example. And think of the traditional IT budget and what it consists of, such as IT labor, hardware costs, storage, maintenance cost and an annual salary and benefits per IT employee. The costs were substantial.

Managing user access to company systems, cybersecurity services, cloud-based IT infrastructure offerings at a fraction of the cost of what a traditional IT department team would cost – it just makes sense for organizations to turn to MSPs as they make life easier for them. I recently caught up with Jess Warrington, General Manager, North America, CloudBlue, to get his take on MSPs and the future of the MSP market. CloudBlue is a software company that helps transform businesses in the IT supply chain from a traditional to an everything-as-a-service business model. The company, which empowers businesses to challenge the status quo, is a Platinum sponsor of MSP Expo 2023, taking place February 14-17, 2023, as part of the #TECHSUPERSHOW in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. CloudBlue will be in Booth #407 in the exhibit hall.

I had a chance to catch up with Jess ahead of MSP Expo to get his take on the MSP space and what CloudBlue offers MSPs as a partner. Here’s what he had to say.

What is your current perception of the Managed Services space?  Why is it such a hot market?

According to CloudBlue, the Managed Services space is on track to be the next go-to and emerging space/market. This is evident as the global managed services market size is expected to reach $731.08 billion by 2030, according to GlobeNewsWire.

With services such as cloud, IoT, AI and cybersecurity adoption at their peak, MSPs are quickly adapting themselves to offer and manage several types of digital-based solutions that can enable enterprises to accelerate growth and increase revenue at top speed.

Jess Warrington
General Manager, North America,

What’s the biggest opportunity for MSPs to increase their revenues and value to their clients?

Customers of MSPs are demanding a simple, TCO-based approach instead of multiple products and multiple vendors. End-customers want to consume technology more easily i.e.:

  • One stop shop: They want a single vendor for most if not all business needs as IT is not their core business
  • Flexibility: They need to be able to respond to market fluctuations by upgrading or downgrading, terminating or pausing their service
  • Pay-as-you-go: They want to pay monthly and not a large one-off up-front investment

The role of MSPs is to simplify their customers’ experience, which can potentially bring several annual recurring-revenue opportunities

The biggest opportunity for MSPs to increase their revenue and value to their customers is by:

  • Automating XaaS Procurement to expand service offering and deliver XaaS bundles with automated procurement
  • Launching a Cloud Marketplace to adapt to current and future demand for cloud computing services and to expand product reach and availability
  • Launching a XaaS Business to offer usage-based bundled solutions

 Why are you focused on partnering with MSPs?

CloudBlue is more focused on partnering with MSPs as we see a large number of Tech Vendors and Telcos moving more towards the MSP path. A combination of three key elements: an increasing demand for as-a-service solutions, the need to capture higher margins and growing ARR is blurring industry-vertical segment boundaries and shaking up the supply chain. Big tech manufacturers, Telcos, ISVs are morphing into MSPs:

  • In August 2018, HP acquired Apogee, a Managed Printing Services company in the UK for $ 444M, a market that HP says is worth $55 billion worldwide.
  • Xerox expanded their services and software business by building on their leadership in the Managed Print Services (MPS) market to deliver more intelligent workplace solutions. 77% of its revenue to be after-sale recurring.
  • ACER, ASUS, XIAOMI are successfully creating AI-ready subscription services - cloud enterprise solutions that leverage IoT for smart transportation, smart city, smart health, and smart manufacturing.
  • LENOVO created 3 strategic groups for their ISV initiatives in 2019: the Data Intelligence Business Group (DIBG), the Converged Network Business Unit (CNBU) and the Commercial Internet of Things (CIoT) group.
  • New Zealand based telco, Kordia, bought Base2, an IT services company, to extend into the IT services market and strengthen its offerings around the modern workplace.
  • Telefónica expanded its strategic collaboration with Amazon to develop joint go-to-market activities to support customers' use of cloud services and enable more 5G and edge services for customers.

Tell us about what you offer MSPs?  How are you helping them better address their customers’ needs?

CloudBlue offers a wide set of services for MSPs to enable them to better address their customers’ needs. CloudBlue enables MSPs to:

  • Automate and standardize XaaS procurement processes: Centralize and simplify the process of XaaS procurement, fulfillment, and provisioning to improve efficiency and accelerate time to market.
  • Expand Catalog faster: Automate and streamline the vendor onboarding process and expand product catalog immediately. Reduce time and cost spent on integrations, maintenance, and support and cross-sell more – a direct benefit of XaaS
  • Launch XaaS subscription bundles efficiently: Create unique XaaS bundled solutions such as WaaS and DaaS, combining hardware, software as a service (SaaS) and services, eliminating the hassle and complexity for their clients. Streamline the entire procurement, fulfilment, and billing process – all in one place
  • Unify multi-countries and multi-subsidiary operations: Gain visibility of operations and power of negotiation by unifying all their subsidiaries through a central platform, increase their geographical footprint and grow their margins with CloudBlue marketplace software.

Is there any recent news from your company you would like to share?

A recent report published by IDC listed CloudBlue as a "Major Player" along with five other vendors. The vendors in this IDC MarketScape for enterprise-focused subscription and usage management, SUM, applications are targeting enterprise-sized companies that have more complex and higher performance monetization needs. More details can be found here.

A recent report published by Gartner named CloudBlue as a Representative Vendor for Marketplace Operations Applications, MOAs. The report outlines market trends and directions, analyzes enterprise marketplaces, features, and complexities, and provides an unbiased understanding of the different vendors in the space. More details can be found here.

A recent report published by Forrester listed CloudBlue as a leader in this report with strong current offering, strategy, and market presence. This report evaluates emerging markets for marketplace development platforms based on their current offering and strategy. Tech leaders should use this report to select the right partner for their marketplace development platform needs. More details can be found here.

There’s been a lot of talk about an IT talent gap.  Do MSPs have the technical expertise to address their customers’ needs adequately?  If yes, why is there then a misconception regarding talent and, if no, how are you MSPs bridge the gap?

MSPs are building their technical expertise to address customers’ needs by merging with different sets of companies as the Managed Services IT market is becoming more competitive. A larger number of smaller MSPs are merging to counter the scale of larger rivals and to provide customers with fully integrated services.

The biggest challenge for MSPs today is hiring enough talent, especially for managing the IaaS diversification for their customers. Finding good technical profiles with expertise in one public cloud vendor is difficult. Finding them for three or more is a utopia. Multi-Cloud Orchestrators have emerged as a key solution to that challenge in the last few years. They act as a public-cloud-vendor agnostic user interface which allows MSPs to provision, manage and deploy IaaS-based instances and automate the deployment of operating systems and the software applications within them. No vendor-specific skillset or certification is required, so any average IT professional should be able to provision and deploy virtual machines, which have a pre-installed set of applications, on any public cloud platform.

As MSPs look to build their portfolios, they have many vendor options.  Why should they partner with you? 

Many MSPs are partnering with CloudBlue as:

CloudBlue helps businesses succeed in the as-a-service economy and accelerate time to revenue by managing subscription and billing, vendor and product information, and partner onboarding across multiple channels. Through its leading ecosystem orchestration platform, CloudBlue enables companies to create their own ecosystems, as well as connect vendor and go-to-market ecosystems, automating the distribution of traditional and digital products and services across partners in the digital supply chain. CloudBlue serves more than 200 companies around the globe and powers the world’s largest cloud B2B marketplaces, which represent 30 million B2B cloud subscriptions.

CloudBlue’s managed marketplace platform helps MSPs streamline operations by automating procurement and fulfilment processes. By cutting down on manual tasks and increasing automation, MSPs can concentrate on designing XaaS model bundles suited to their customer’s requirements, cross- and up-selling – and introducing new offerings to the market faster than ever.

CloudBlue’s extensive portfolio of market-leading third-party products gives MSPs the means to expand their solution catalog easily and quickly. This also helps avoid shadow IT and keeps costs to a minimum.

According to Deloitte, cloud investments are expected to double as a percentage of information technology (IT) budgets over the next three years. With the help of CloudBlue’s platform, MSPs can unify multi-country and multi-subsidiary systems and processes.

And by taking advantage of group-level negotiated pricing, MSPs will see cost savings and efficiencies which enable them to scale faster.

With CloudBlue, MSPs get:

  • A simplified subscription and billing management platform: MSPs can combine subscription-based services with their core offerings (consumables, electronic appliances, software, etc.). Support for flat-rate, tiered, pay-as-you-go or one-off billing models. CloudBlue helps MSPs make subscription and billing management more efficient.
  • An extensive CloudBlue catalog and network: MSPs can choose from extensive portfolio of 300+ pre-integrated market-leading 3rd party products, saving them time and money. Additionally, MSPs can access millions of end-customers worldwide from the CloudBlue platform.
  • An end-to-end As a Service platform: MSPs can use one single platform to manage vendors, suppliers, partners, and deliver a wide range of XaaS bundled offerings, both physical and digital.

What differentiates your services or solutions from your competitors?

CloudBlue’s core differentiators include:

  1. Unmatched Global Scale: Take advantage of the largest cloud ecosystem with B2B focus, 140K resellers, potential access to 2B customers, and across 180 leading brand customers.
  2. Broader Portfolio & Capabilities: Leverage CloudBlue Connect to power everything-as-a-service business models, enabling easy vendor onboarding and ordering, fulfilment, product information management, contract management and catalog management and CloudBlue Commerce that provides the ability to launch marketplaces to partners, resellers and end customers
  3. Comprehensive Multi-Tier Capabilities: Organize multiple marketplaces across regions, countries, OpCos, and channels with multiple reseller levels
  4. Multi-Cloud Orchestration: Develop, orchestrate, and deploy application templates and offer application-centric management services across public, private and hybrid clouds from one platform.

What kind of support do you offer your MSP partners throughout the partnership lifecycle (e.g., education, training, marketing, technical support, etc.)?

CloudBlue offers several types of support throughout its partnership lifecycle that include detailed training, education, technical support and others.

Look into your crystal ball and tell us how you see your market and/or the MSP space changing/evolving in the next few years.

The MSP space will focus on the following trends for the next few years.

  • As-a-Service
  • Cybersecurity
  • Automation
  • Blockchain
  • IoT
  • Automation
  • AI

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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MSPToday Editor

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