One of the first things you'll likely hear when you introduce yourself to someone as a modern MSP is, "What is...what does that...huh?" It's an understandable response. If the person or potential customer you're talking with is also familiar with VARs, then you have an even more intricate web to untangle. Where do you even start?
SBT Partners has created a great animated description of the difference between VARs and MSPs, and the conversations you've likely had (or will have) with customers. Let's break it down.
What are VARs?
Value Added Resellers, aka VARs, have been around since virtually the beginning of IT. VARs are companies that primarily sell on-premises hardware and software from technology manufacturers. They also sell maintenance contracts and professional services projects. All of their work is done on the customer's site and can be incredibly expensive.
What are MSPs?
Managed Service Providers, aka MSPs, are often considered to be the next step in the evolution of VARs. Instead of coming to the customer's site, MSPs deliver their services remotely. Not just that, but they have economies of scale to do the jump much cheaper than a VAR. MSPs also use technologies created specifically for their field to get the job done. And perhaps most salient for the customer, MSPs charge a flat and predictable monthly fee.
What is a Modern MSP and What Can it do for me?
Much how MSPs are the next generation of VARs, modern MSPs are the generation beyond that. They focus on cloud and Technology as a Service (TaaS), delivering both as an operations expense – much like a utility. It's designed to deliver business outcomes to each individual employee of their clients, including business units like the finance department, sales, and marketing. It's all about absorbing technology like any other service our customers are already using to help their business.
Modern MSPs are here to help businesses get onboard with the cloud and make their business run more efficiently at a cheaper cost. Don't let all the acronyms throw you off – MSPs are here to help.