The ModernMSP? What's that, and more importantly what's the value to the SMB?
First, the "ModernMSP" seems to be the new unofficial title for what some (Microsoft and BitTitan for example) have been calling the CSP or CSB or next-gen MSP—I'm ok with that—works for me. Btw, Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2016 is being held right this moment in Toronto and the title ModernMSP is sure to be tossed around by the 25,000+ participants in attendance.
Simply put, to me it seems like the ModernMSP is the evolution of the traditional Remote Management and Monitoring (RMM) and outsourced IT solutions provider (i.e. MSP) that has mastered a recurring revenue services business and has now added cloud to it's solutions portfolio. Or it could also include a "Born-in-the-Cloud" solutions provider that started day one in the cloud. Whatever—doesn't matter—what does matter is what value they provide to the SMB.
Here are a few values the ModernMSP must provide the SMB.
1) Thinks differently—I think we are done debating whether or not the IT Solutions Provider needs to adapt to our new and ever changing technology and business world—change is a "must-do". The ModernMSP agrees-with and is embracing change—from their business model, their partnerships, the solutions they offer and also how they work with their clients. The ModernMSP is now the change agent to help their clients with their digital transformation by helping their clients achieve their specific business-outcomes.
2) Does a bit of everything—I've mentioned this several times in my blogs. All customers—SMB to F500 have a mix of on-prem technologies and cloud and everything in between. The need for the SMB to provide their legacy on-prem technology managed and maintained (RMM), help migrate that technology to the cloud and also service it's growing cloud solutions is a must. The ModernMSP must also be able to deliver these services 24x7 and include the SMB's remote employees and mobile technologies. The ModernMSP must also look at their clients not from an IT perspective only but include all department functions and introduce technologies and services that they may never have had to do before—CRM, ERP, vertical apps etc.
3) Has a cloud-first mentality—Yes cloud accounts for less than 10% of all IT but it is certainly top of mind of all SMB leaders. SMB leaders are starving for thought leadership from their IT Solutions Provider partners for the basics such as—what is cloud, what can it do for me and where do I start. The ModernMSP is a master at cloud and has a "cloud first mentality and strategy". The IT Solutions Provider that has as "oh yes we can also do cloud" will eventually be displaced by the ModernMSP that is cloud first in their approach.
This post appeared previously on the SBT Partners blog.