The Key to Managed Services Adoption is Clear Messaging

  • Learn How Las Vegas is Stimulating Startups

    by Lester Keizer  | May 12, 2014
    This guest blog entry was written by Lester Keizer, CEO of Business Continuity Technologies. Business Continuity Solutions has been in business for over 30 years. We’re one of the oldest technology companies in the Las Vegas area. Over the decades we’ve morphed from a regular technology product sales company to a company selling enterprise-level products to a firm that does strictly managed services in its purest form. The last six months has really been great for our company. We see ...
    Full Story
  • ChannelTrends: Tackling the Challenges and Opportunities of Managed Services

    by Brian Sherman  | May 07, 2014
    Remote monitoring and management tools have been available to channel companies for quite some time. Just last week, a friend of mine sent me a link to the first article I ever wrote on managed services — from almost a decade ago — to congratulate me on 10 years of covering this industry-changing topic. Though it was just a brief mention from the former Gartner System Builders’ Summit and VARVision show, the Business Solutions magazine piece reminded me just how much the channe ...
    Full Story
  • Increased Demand for Skilled IT Help Requires New Recruitment and Training Strategies

    by Paul Cronin  | May 07, 2014
    This addition to the CompTIA blog is part of a guest series celebrating Small Business Week. IT companies today operate in an environment that’s both exciting and challenging. The persistent evolution of technology — cloud computing, mobility, unified communications, cybersecurity and virtualization, for example — make technology solutions more accessible and affordable than ever before.  The willingness of businesses and consumers to embrace these innovations has created ...
    Full Story
  • IT Hiring Contingent on Sustained Business Confidence

    by Tim Herbert  | May 06, 2014
    The dilemma: Companies have job openings or want to hire in order to expand, but are fearful of a slowdown in new business orders. This scenario has been the default for companies across the IT channel during the past few years of economic uncertainty. New research from CompTIA suggests we may have finally reached a point of sustained stability. According to CompTIA’s recent Q2 IT Industry Business Confidence Index, executives feel more positive about the overall economy and growth prosp ...
    Full Story
  • CertMaster Represents the Next Wave of Scientifically Grounded Adaptive Learning

    by Terry Erdle  | May 05, 2014
    As the world’s foremost vendor-neutral IT certification body, CompTIA is leading the new wave of neuroscience-based, adaptive learning with a comprehensive new training program: CompTIA CertMaster. This new learning tool, designed to help students and professionals better prepare for IT certification exams and future IT careers, goes beyond the typical race to the finish model and features a variety of techniques to help you learn, including adaptive learning, spacing and motivation trigge ...
    Full Story
  • Ways and Means Clears Limited Tax Extenders

    by Lamar Whitman  | May 02, 2014
    On Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Committee approved six tax extender provisions and left 50 more on the chopping block. It’s unclear if the committee will reconvene to review the other 50, but in keeping with the desire of Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) to bring certainty to the tax code, yesterday’s action would make the six extenders that did pass permanent. The extenders currently have expiration dates, which most agree hamper their effectiveness, so those supporting the six provisi ...
    Full Story
  • Patent Challenges Threaten Innovation, Business Growth

    by Greg Plum  | April 29, 2014
    Laser-like focus is critical to the success of any business, but perhaps even more so for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). With less of a margin for error than their larger counterparts, anything that causes a small business to take its eye off the ball is a threat to that company’s livelihood. My industry — the conferencing and collaboration space — has been blanketed in recent years by a demand letter from a so-called patent troll, demanding payment for a mute featur ...
    Full Story
  • Idaho Technology Council Fights Public Advocacy Battles to Help Gem State Companies Thrive

    by Bob Moore  | April 29, 2014
    This month, Jay Larsen, president and founder of the Idaho Technology Council, discussed with TechVoice legislation he and his organization have championed to grow Idaho’s technology ecosystem. Read how the council’s advocacy efforts influenced those bills, the lessons Larsen learned along the way and how the Idaho Technology Council’s partnership with TechVoice has helped in these efforts. I understand you’ve been very active at the state level with several bills around ...
    Full Story
  • The Internet of Things is Missing Something: Security

    by Chris Gonsalves  | April 23, 2014
    This sponsored blog entry was submitted by Chris Gonsalves of ChannelNomics. There’s a dirty little secret in the grand promise of the Internet of Things. Within the rapidly proliferating realm of talking machines that enables this hyperconnected ecosystem, there is a woeful lack of security. That shortcoming could leave important systems vulnerable to compromise and ultimately threaten the viability of an emerging technology space on which many have pinned high hopes. Understanding t ...
    Full Story
  • My Six Pivotal Moments as a Woman in IT

    by Samantha Ciaccia  | April 23, 2014
    “What do you want to be when you grow up?” This was never a hard question for me. I wanted to be a veterinarian, then a doctor. However, when it came time to decide on a college major, I chose marketing to pursue a creative career in advertising — or so I thought. What you think you want and where life actually leads you can sometimes be very different. My 18-year-old self would not recognize me today: I’m channel engagement manager for Datto and have been working in the ...
    Full Story
First PagePrevious Page
Next PageLast Page
Page: of 123

What value does your company add? It’s a perennial business question, one that channel firms face each and every day in interactions with customers, vendors and other partners. In this era of cloud computing and ongoing business model upheaval, everyone is looking for a way to stand out, especially to the customer. If you can’t answer the fundamental question – Why do we matter? – your business is at a disadvantage.

The managed services model is one example of a channel business that — in theory — adds great value and plenty of upsides for customers. Despite the raft of benefits, managed services adoption is less than robust among end-user organizations. CompTIA’s recent study, Third Annual Trends in Managed Services, finds that just 3 in 10 end-user customers use managed services for some or all of their IT needs. That’s just 30 percent — a paltry sum, considering the model has been touted for a decade as the channel’s savior against margin erosion and product reselling obsolescence.

A number of factors have dampened managed services adoption, with a key one falling at the foot of the channel itself: the inability to simply and clearly explain the value that’s being added. To truly add value, you must be able to educate customers about what you do and craft that message to reflect the customer’s business needs. Show them how you’ll creatively solve their problems and/or drive financial benefits. An effective message drives adoption rates and raises awareness. Case in point: CompTIA’s study finds satisfaction rates are quite high among end-user organizations that use managed services.

Hurdles to Clear

The ambiguity of managed service provider may have something to do with the low adoption rate. An executive in a law firm or manufacturing shop who hears MSP or managed service provider won’t intuitively know what you do, which is why branding and messaging are essential. Marketing activities have never been a strong suit for many channel firms, but that’s got to change. In the years ahead, as customers look to a model for IT that operates with more predictability in pricing and as a service, a clear marketing message will become even more important.

Another major hurdle is that certain customers will always have objections to using a third party for their IT needs. Wariness to outsource in general is holding people back, according to the CompTIA study, while others report an existing satisfaction with their current internal IT staff.

Those objections don’t change the fact that managed services would appeal to many more customers if MSPs could get out a clear message about what they do and the value they add. The market for managed services is so far from saturated that one can’t help but wonder if it’s time for the channel to go all-in with the model and lead with it as their value-add, over and above other lines of business. In other words; double down. Couple that with sharp messaging around benefits and the channel just might stave off an unfortunate long-term plateau of the market.

CompTIA members can read more about MSP trends in CompTIA’s Third Annual Trends in Managed Services. Not a member? Click here to learn how you can join the thriving community of IT organizations.

Carolyn April is CompTIA’s director of industry analysis and market research.

Leave a Comment