NaaS Gives MSPs More Options to Offer Customers

NaaS Gives MSPs More Options to Offer Customers

By Bill Yates

Now there's another service for MSPs to sell: networks.

At ITEXPO 2023 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, a panel discussion on the issue, titled "Why Network As A Service is the Next Big Thing," was hosted by industry consultant Susan Elder. She brought together three veteran MSP vendors to discuss how providing network-as-a-service is now a viable money maker for MSP operators.

The pitch is that the network subscription model makes it easier for customers to optimize their operations, as well as reducing the customer's management load. "Economically, it's a really good model," said panelist Bernard Bretton, CEO of cloud-management vendor Adaptiv Networks. "The scalability is the key."

Adding agility is one of the major benefits of any as-a-service product, Bretton pointed out. It's hard to get workers to go back to the office. Improving flexibility and scalability also seems like a no-brainer. "The world is going to be extremely distributed going forward," he said.

Adding agility is one of the major benefits of any as-a-service product, Bretton pointed out. It's hard to get workers to go back to the office. Improving flexibility and scalability also seems like a no-brainer. "The world is going to be extremely distributed going forward," he said.

Panelist Devina Yadov Baker, global head of solution architecture at cloud-services provider CloudBlue, noted that it takes a lot of work to operate your own network. With network-as-a-service, "you're selling outcome as a service," she said.

"You don't need to procure equipment," said panelist Mark Palmer, vice president of managed services for Granite Telecommunications. "Using network-as-a-service allows you to focus on customer priorities.” The main customer benefits of moving to network-as-a-service are:

  • Increased agility
  • Improved flexibility
  • Added scalability.

Palmer said that in the wake of COVID, MSPs should be focusing on their IT stack and applications, building out their remote-work capabilities. "You should not be worrying about your network," he says. "Let someone else do it."

With network-as-a-service, MSPs have more options to offer their customers. Investment costs in building out your own network can be so high that MSPs are forced to offer only the services they have built, Bretton pointed out.

"Are you at the right stage in your development where you can utilize network as a service?" Yadav Baker said. "Sometimes it's hard to keep up with the ever -evolving complexity of cloud communications."

Another benefit: Handing off support duties to somebody else so you can concentrate on building your business. "There will be issues," Bretton said. "The question is how you behave when those issues arise." Sometimes leaving the work of supporting the network is better left in the hands of the network provider, he suggested.




Edited by Greg Tavarez
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