MSPs Speak Out: How Vendor Relationships Have Changed Post-Pandemic
At XChange March 2023 this week, CRN reporters asked MSPs in attendance whether they are seeing vendors changing how they are doing business with them in a post-COVID world and whether the changes have been helpful or not. Here’s what they had to say.
Staale Thomas-Swift, President, CEO, NOCDOC
[Vendors] have moved more towards a utility model, as a service. In subscriptions, instead of annual subscriptions, it’s monthly subscriptions. Working across the line with all the MSPs we work with, that’s what we’ve seen. You, the MSP, buys a bundle, then you resell it as you want to the client. It’s fine for us. We’ve gone from long engagements to month to month, it’s more of a utility model on our end as well.
Joe Kadlec, VP, Sr. Partner, Consiliant Technologies
We’re salespeople at heart. So we’re used to face-to-face interactions. And we got away from that. And I think that’s hurt us on the supplier-side relationships as well as with customers. So it seems that a lot of people now hide behind a computer screen, whereas before we could get things done face-to-face. And I think there’s been a lot of transition with people in some of these big organizations, either getting laid off or they’re leaving the organization. And so it’s been harder sometimes to get answers to questions. And luckily, we’re fairly self-sufficient.
On the distribution side, the biggest thing that has impacted us has just been supply chains and being able to get our hands on gear. So our inventory has increased dramatically because we can’t order stuff and have it delivered in a couple of days. Actually, we’re buying more in advance and warehousing it. Very expensive. Like literally, we’re probably 4X what we normally should carry. And some of that has come from business expansion. But the rest is because we might not be able to service our customers. We have to be able to build technology and ship it and do it very quickly. That’s our value-add. So, we’re now a Dell OEM and also build HP servers for a large energy company. We can turn servers around in a day or two days.