MSP Resellers And The Changing IT Service Management Scenario
MSP is short for Managed Service Provider – It can be better understood by equating it to an outsourced IT provider, albeit in a more proactive sense. An MSP is quite different from an IT provider because the IT provider is just reactive, providing services majorly in case of any failure or unforeseen circumstances. MSP services are rather proactive and monitor users’ systems to prevent any failure or event from developing in the first place. Simply put, an MSP acts before there is a problem in the system.
MSP services, for the most part, look out for problems through patch management and monitoring. Continuous monitoring is a crucial component of MSP that helps them access the real-time status of the on-going processes, so they can act before time through patch management to correct errors and prevent any vulnerability in the system. Today, MSPs serve various sectors like logistics, manufacturing, and distribution, heavily relying on a strong IT infrastructure for their operations.
Another term closely associated with MSP is VAR or Value Added Reseller. To an outside observer, it may appear as if both these service providers are more or less similar; however, there is a striking divergence between the two, as discussed below.
Clearing The Blurred Lines Between MSP & VAR
A value-added reseller provides software services or on-premise hardware to a client or user along with consultancy or configuration services. Thus, he adds extra value to the software or hardware he is selling, hence the term value-added reseller.
Value-added resellers are event-bound service providers. The idea of VARs began even before MSPs. Their primary offering was to provide users with a new license for software or to renew the existing software when it expired. However, they were not restricted to providing new licenses as they also offered configuration and deployment services. However, they are majorly event-based service providers.
Another crucial point to keep in mind regarding value-added resellers is that they require IT personnel to be physically present at the location or on-site to manage the IT infrastructure for the end-user. On the other hand, MSPs are remotely located and continue to provide MSP services regardless of where the client is situated. MSPs also have a broader service offering than VARs as they monitor the clients’ system 24/7/365 and carry out full-fledged IT services.
MSPs work deeply with the client compared to value-added resellers whose services are limited to the software they provide. On the other hand, MSPs are deeply aligned with the client’s business strategy as one of their primary motives is to advance their clients’ business operations. Thus, they also take care of all the audits, regulatory compliances and standards of the client’s IT infrastructure.
MSPs Or MSP Resellers – What’s The Difference?
MSPs generally require centralized software or a bundle of software to conduct patch management and remote monitoring on their clients’ systems. It requires them to buy this software from another party. After that, their staff monitor the clients’ systems, and the overall cost is charged to the client. It makes MSPs more of MSP resellers. The more seamless the software is, the easier it is for MSP resellers to conduct business and provide value to their clients.
MSP resellers offer services in various domains, including cloud hosting, application hosting, server management, etc., at an affordable cost to their users. It makes MSP resellers a hybrid of MSPs and value-added resellers.
How MSP Partner Programs Are Transforming IT Landscape
MSP partner programs offer remote management tools and software to manage, secure and enhance users’ systems. They offer MSP services such as patch management, security solutions, backup services, remote access, among many others. They also offer unique partner programs that ensure predictable revenues for MSP resellers.
These MSP partner programs allow MSP resellers to build perpetual relations with their users and generate profitable returns while providing the best MSP services. If you are a small or mid-sized business owner, you may also look for MSP resellers affiliated with renowned names offering MSP partner programs.
It is relatively easy to become an MSP partner. It involves pre-assessment and full audit by an MSP auditor, and the MSP reseller can then register with the program and start availing the benefits shortly.
It all boils down to one question. Should one be a standalone MSP reseller or become an MSP partner? The answer is simple – Registering with an MSP partner program offers more authority and flexibility to protect customers and improve their IT infrastructure by remote monitoring and cloud management tools across remote locations. This also helps MSP resellers provide more excellent value and hence form more robust relations with the clients.