TaaS--The New MSP


Arnie Bellini, the CEO of ConnectWise, the Tampa, Fla.-based solution provider and maker of IT business automation software used by thousands of VARs, was a big proponent of the MSP business model long before it was fashionable.

STEVEN BURKE
Can be reached at (781) 839-1221 or via e-mail at sburke@cmp.com.

Bellini, a fellow solution provider CEO, in fact, rallied solution providers to change their businesses and move to the MSP model years ago. For Bellini it's always been about VARs taking control of their own destinies. That's why the ConnectWise software, which grew out of his own experience, is so popular with VARs. So when Bellini gives his no-holds-barred view of the market at the annual ConnectWise Partner Summit, partners listen. Bellini calls the next wave Technology-as-a-Service (TaaS). Put simply, it means acting as a virtual, end-to-end, any-and-all technology provider for your clients. The aim with the next-generation TaaS business model is to cover everything from A to Z for a business from technology consulting to procurement and management of everything from systems to printers to phones to firewalls. It's all about taking control of the IT budget for a business and being the one throat to choke for any and all technology that needs to be managed for the client. At the heart of the TaaS model is a deeper and more intimate knowledge of the client's business.

Some of the best and brightest have already moved to TaaS. Joseph Mercadante, the president of JPMercCo., who was at the ConnectWise summit, for example, founded his Westboro, Mass., company only three years ago to act as a "virtual CIO" for his SMB customers. Mercadante actually becomes part of his clients' "board of directors and senior management" to deliver competitive advantages with technology.

One reason Bellini is telling his solution provider customers to move to TaaS is that he sees companies like Dell, Google and even Microsoft moving to compete more aggressively with VARs to grab SMB dollars. "You need to be thinking about this and get some guts," Bellini told 600 of his closest ConnectWise partners at the summit. "If we don't charge up that hill, others will take control of it."

Bellini is right. MSP is where the market has been. TaaS is where the market is going. The next-generation MSP is a TaaS provider. MSP is dead. Long live TaaS.

Are you moving to the TaaS model?
E-mail me at sburke@cmp.com or call me at (781) 839-1221.