By Nick Heddy, Chief Revenue Officer, Pax8
Managed service providers (MSPs) and telecommunications agents are siloed, but disruption is coming that will push these two worlds together. The eventual overlap of MSPs and telecom agents is being driven by customer demand for integrated services and cloud.
As I predicted on the Predictionpalooza ’19 webinar hosted by Channel Partners, we will see more businesses demand stackable technology, and that will impact the way distributors and master agents work together. According to a Predictionpalooza ’19 panel expert, companies want technologies that integrate – or stack – to streamline operations and improve efficiency. This means agents will need to start offering managed services or work with MSPs to deliver complete solutions.
Market reports are providing statistics that support this shift from a telecom-only approach to a broader, solutions-based approach. IDC states that digitization – improving efficiency and reducing cost by moving analog processes to a digital platform – represents a $7 trillion opportunity, and agents that fail to evolve could lose two-thirds of their addressable market. In CompTIA’s 2019 IT Industry Outlook, they predict stackable technologies will supercharge digitization efforts.
Here are three factors driving the digital transition:
• Companies want new, value-producing opportunities.
• Desire at scale at the speed of business.
• Need for improved flexibility, agility and unification.
Today, there are clear lines differentiating the managed services and telco markets, but those lines are beginning to blur as the two merge. The convergence is already happening. Here are three ways the agent channel can prepare to move to a managed service model:
Get into the cloud. Did you know that IDC says 60% of customers are demanding cloud solutions? If you can’t offer and easily explain cloud solutions to your customers, they’ll turn to another company who can. Delivering cloud-based telco services doesn’t have to be difficult. A partner with the tools, training resources and infrastructure to help you excel is a way to enter this market.
Complete your technology stack. According to Microsoft, only 21% of users with under 300 seats have migrated to O365, the cloud-based version of Microsoft Office that generates monthly recurring revenue. That will inevitably change. About two-thirds of remaining 79% of users who haven’t yet migrated to O365, is expected to move in the next 18 months. Why is that important? Delivering fundamental services like O365 creates stickiness with the customer. Companies need productivity solutions and Microsoft Office is the industry standard. If they don’t get it from you, they’ll get it elsewhere. Protect your customer relationships and own their buyer journey by expanding your technology stack to include fundamental services, such as productivity, security, infrastructure and so on, that business customers need to function.
Pick a partner. You need a partner who can simply cloud technology for your business, while you capture more margin opportunity and increase the stickiness of your business relationships. Support is also key when choosing the right partner. When you’re out in the field and a problem arises, you want to be assured that your technology partner will answer the phone and be able to provide the expertise to help you through any issues.
Protect your telco business by expanding into the cloud. Two-thirds of your market — that’s how much IDC says you stand to lose if you don’t start delivering cloud services. If you want to supercharge your digitization efforts, create stackable technologies to meet the need of your clients now and into the future. More importantly, this will enable your clients to connect the dots across a broad set of existing and emerging technologies.
This shift is already underway. If you’re feeling the pain of customer turnover, move to the cloud today.
Nick Heddy is Chief Revenue Officer at Pax8.