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Missing The MSP Point

Lately, there has been a lot of fuss and bother over the right approach to delivering managed services.

Much of that debate centers around two basic questions: Should a solution provider resell the managed services of a vendor or deliver those services itself? And, if the solution provider does choose to deliver its own services, should it build a network operations center (NOC) or resell the managed services of a company such as LPI Level Platforms, which has created a variety of managed services for different vendors' products? The problem with this whole debate is it assumes this is an either/or equation when in reality the answer to both questions is "all of the above."

Can be reached at (516) 562-7477 or via e-mail at

The way to deliver managed services is to imagine you're crafting a fine blended whiskey. What makes the whiskey great are the ingredients chosen to create the blend. And so it will be with managed services, because at the end of the day, everybody will wind up reselling services from the vendors and then crafting their own higher-margin services to layer on top.

When it comes to creating managed services for their own products, vendors typically have deeper knowledge of the product and have comparatively unlimited capital to support and extend their services. Trying to compete head-on with those services will become increasingly difficult as average selling prices drop.

Where most customers run into problems, however, is when two products from two different vendors interact. By delivering managed services that augment the basic managed services of the vendors, solution providers will be able to craft a higher-margin value proposition simply because not many people will call Symantec to manage Cisco networking gear. The company that can figure out and remotely resolve problems between two products from different vendors quickly will be worth its weight in gold to end customers.

The quickest way to get into the MSP space is to start reselling services from vendors. But those profits should be plowed back into development of truly unique managed services that reside in a NOC owned by the solution provider. That way, solution providers will not only create a fine blend, they'll finally make enough money to buy any blend they want.

What's the secret to your blend? I can be reached at (516) 562-7477 or via e-mail at

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