Avant: Agents, MSPs Converge in a Multicloud World


Managing cloud solutions these days is no simple task. Between the global marketplace, heavy data regulations coming from every corner and exploding numbers of solutions and providers, business owners and IT generalists don’t know which way is up. They look to their “trusted adviser” for guidance — but even their managed service providers (MSPs) sometimes struggle to keep up.

In an IT ecosystem that’s evolving as rapidly as it is today, how are traditional MSPs supposed to stay educated on the best solutions to offer their customers, and how to manage them?

Avant's Shane McNamara

Avant’s Shane McNamara

At the upcoming Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, April 17-20, a panel of experts will try to get to the bottom of that question. “The MSP’s Guide to a Multicloud World,” part of the cloud conference track, will attempt to help partners equip themselves with the tools and knowledge they need to advise their clients on which workloads to move to which cloud, how to migrate in a way that allows for an exit strategy, how to scale, and how to manage and automate those new cloud environments.

Carmen Sorice III, founder and CEO of Qlarity llc, will moderate the panel. He’ll be joined by Paul Rix, president and CEO of Zanaris, and Shane McNamara, executive vice president at Avant Communications. McNamara and his colleague, Alex Danyluk, chief strategy officer at Avant, sat down with us to give us a sneak peek at what insights this year’s panel might shed light on.

This transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

Channel Partners/Channel Futures: Set the stage for us. What’s happening on a high level in the channel that’s causing such dramatic increases in complexity when it comes to multicloud management?

Avant: We’ve seen quite a change over the last several years. We’re seeing convergence in the industry. You see the agent community and the MSP community now converging on each other for several reasons. They want to add more value to customer, and because of the pace of change in technology, it’s too hard for customers to keep up with the latest and greatest technology. There [are] so many providers emerging that they don’t know who is here today and gone tomorrow and who’s here for the long haul … We see agents becoming more like MSPs, and MSPs taking advantage of the traditional agent business models.

Avant's Alex Danyluk

Avant’s Alex Danyluk

The pace of change in the market is causing even the agents and MSPs not to rely only upon themselves on delivering all their solutions. The customers can’t keep up with it, that’s for sure. The agents and MSPs are now relying more and more on third parties to augment what they do. Agents have always done that, and MSPs are increasingly doing that. People may call themselves MSPs, which is perfectly fine because they’re delivering managed solutions, but that solution very often …

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