Recently a channel partner told me in no uncertain terms what their customers need. These are:
- No-hassle customer support
- Products that don’t need an IT expert to use
- The fewer products to manage, the better
Over the course of the conversation we talked about how MSPs are making the most of these needs – and how you can benefit, too, whether you’re the end user or the solution provider.
Taking the air out of big cloud providers
For our channel partners, perhaps the biggest concern is competing with the top cloud providers, the 800-pound gorillas. But those three needs create many opportunities to beat out Big Cloud.
Step 1: Outsourcing
For starters, outsourcing delivers on all three of those needs. Outsourced IT services is a win/win.
The customer wins because they get someone else to install, run, and manage all their systems – which is a far cry more affordable than hiring specialized experts for all these tasks.
For a midsized or regional business, especially one with limited IT staff, creating and setting up cloud-based services such as disaster recovery or archiving is not particularly simple or intuitive.
Step 2: Become a trusted partner
Secondly, a trusted partner is a long-term business relationship. Tech manufacturers are looking for an initial sale, and a support and maintenance contract, and a per-use or per-seat fee, and on and on. They’re looking for as much revenue as possible out of one product sale. Providers of hosted/cloud services really have not diverged from this model.
But an MSP can offer far better ROI and value over the long haul. A client and an MSP work together for the best possible outcome, and each party can afford to be flexible.
A partner with knowledge of a client’s entire infrastructure is positioned to offer the proper product or service for the specific need, and the proper pricing, to ensure a project’s success.
Step 3: Customer Service
Finally, and this is the biggest differentiator, there’s no comparison in the levels of customer service.
It should surprise no one that big cloud providers are notoriously poor at it, while an MSP can be responsive. Perhaps nowhere is this more critical than in data management – loss of access to data is a critical situation few businesses can survive without financial risk.
This is how to compete against the big cloud providers: use a managed cloud solution that delivers the required data protection and availability functions in one go, that’s easy to use without specialized expertise, backed with no-hassle customer support. Win, win, win.