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March 15, 2012

Webinar - Know Your Market: MSPs Need to Pay Attention to Mid-Market Needs to Make the Sale

Managed service providers (MSPs) have an advantage when they make a sales call in that they generally have a well rounded portfolio of services to offer their prospects. A proven track record combined with compelling solutions and attractive service level agreements (SLAs) go a long way toward making that sale. But as with any business, product alone is not enough.

MSPs need to know their target market, and this is especially true for the ever-popular mid-market segment. Companies that fall into the mid-market range may be a perfect fit for any number of specialized services that MSPs are offering, but when it comes to closing the sale, service providers need to be careful and keep in mind the unique goals and requirements of this customer segment.

According to research from IBM (News - Alert), mid-market organizations typically have small IT staffs and are enthusiastic about contracting MSPs to handle some of their IT administration and management. Mid-market companies would also prefer to work with local, trusted IT firms, and this has led IBM to reach out in an effort to partner with local MSPs. The company recently announced its Midmarket Application Framework strategy in an effort to educate prospective partners on the benefits of teaming up with IBM to develop and market unique managed services.

“Many MSPs started with strategic outsourcing, and that was in direct competition with what IBM does for a living,” said Andy Monshaw, general manager for IBM global business partners and midmarket. “We never looked at them as a partner, but more as a competitor.”

“The fact that they are targeting the mid-market, and doing so by recognizing the need of MSPs to reach that objective, is a testament to their understanding of the value of managed services providers,” said Charles Weaver (News - Alert), CEO and co-founder of the MSPAlliance, of IBM's play in the managed services space. “Because the mid-market does tend to care about brand names, having IBM involved as a strategic partner will help those MSPs be more effective in their approach.”

According to the Aberdeen (News - Alert) Group, 48 percent of mid-sized businesses had moved their data to the cloud as of late last year. Backup and disaster recovery is the main impetus driving cloud migration, and this has certainly boosted business for Nimsoft (News - Alert), which offers software for to help service providers monitor data centers and cloud services. The company's solutions are used by hundreds of MSPs in the mid-market.

Nimsoft recently announced an alliance with service provider HCL Technologies in which the Nimsoft Monitor is integrated with HCL's MyCloud Watch hybrid cloud service for monitoring client infrastructure and provided services.

MSPNEWS will be hosting a webinar today at 2 p.m. ET that covers the specialized topic of “Selling Managed Services to the Mid-Market.” Ted Roller, vice president of channel development at Intronis (News - Alert), and Charles Weaver will be presenting the discussion and registration is free at the link above.

Edited by Jennifer Russell