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Intronis, Ingram Micro Studies Show Big MSP Security, Cloud Opportunities

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COMPTIA CHANNELCON — Channel research firm The 2112 Group has teamed with Barracuda-owned Intronis, the provider of backup and recovery for MSPs, and distribution giant Ingram Micro on separate studies that reveal eye-opening channel trends.

The first, State of North America Managed Services, homes in on the importance of recurring revenue and the role managed-services sales can play in keeping a channel business viable and growing.

Intronis' Neal Bradbury

Intronis’ Neal Bradbury

A channel partner, on average, now earns nearly 30 percent of its revenue and almost 20 percent of its profit from managed services — supporting the study’s finding that managed services are the greatest driver of growth for any channel company. They outpace both professional and value-added services in percentage of growth.

“Those channel firms that adopt recurring revenue are set up for success for the future,” Neal Bradbury, VP of channel development, Intronis, told Channel Partners in a sit-down interview at CompTIA’s ChannelCon in Austin, Texas. “Those that aren’t might have difficulty with growth.”

Breaking it down, nearly two in three (64 percent) channel businesses surveyed for the Intronis-commissioned study said that managed services are their biggest drivers of growth. And with that comes more money: More than half said prices of, and profits from, managed services are on the way up.

The demand for security is the biggest driver of managed-services adoption, the report revealed — and the opportunity in security is evident. Only 15 percent of those surveyed offer security services, but nearly two in three (62 percent) plan to within the next year.

“If you look at the security trends, there’s an acute shortage of security pros in the market,” said Larry Walsh, CEO and chief analyst, The 2112 Group, in that same interview. “The only way the market is going to solve that is through services. Services will scale to meet the market demand for talent.”

The report identified managed security as a very promising growth area for channel firms, no matter if large enterprises or SMBs are their primary customers. Ransomware attacks and other threats are proving to pose a challenge for any size of business.

Yet many channel companies still don’t offer security services; not only are only 15 percent of survey respondents offering security services, few are selling sophisticated services such as security policy management; incident response and mediation; security information and event management (SIEM); and cloud security.

The study further revealed that MSPs are missing an opportunity in data recovery. Many don’t go beyond backup; only 30 percent of those surveyed actually recover data, showing that there’s plenty of room for growth in this area.

“This survey reinforces my daily conversations with trusted partners — they want to work with a solutions provider that embraces changes in the IT landscape,” said Michael Hughes, senior vice president, worldwide sales, Barracuda. “Whether it’s cloud computing, managed services or new offerings available for resale, a smart channel organization recognizes changing market conditions and adapts accordingly, and organizations that aren’t doing this …

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