3 Steps to Managed Services Selling

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Blue Ridge Partners' Michael Smith

Michael Smith

Blue Ridge Partners' Kevin Mulloy

Kevin Mulloy

By Michael Smith, Senior Managing Director, and Kevin Mulloy, Principal, Blue Ridge Partners

For channel partners, cloud is a mixed blessing. On one hand, customers are becoming less captive, putting pressure on revenues and margins. At the same time, the market is moving from products to solutions, meaning partners have an opportunity to re-invent their businesses and provide profitable “Day 2” managed services and support. But getting there isn’t easy. To retain traction with customers and continue to offer value to vendors, today’s VARs are grappling with three pivotal questions:

  1. What does the evolving managed services landscape look like now?
  2. How do I decide where to focus to grow my managed services revenue?
  3. How do I execute the move to selling managed services?

Managed Services Evolution PathThe importance of proactively addressing these questions cannot be understated. At the same time, though, understanding the perspectives and strategy of your vendors is critical for channel partners to remain relevant in a changing channel mix.

What Does the evolving managed services landscape look like? Becoming a player in today’s managed services landscape starts with a detailed understanding of what that landscape looks like. There are four main managed services spaces in which companies can play today:

    • Maintenance and reactive troubleshooting: This basic support level provides a “dial for help” lifeline for customers to get basic advice and troubleshooting support from a known and knowledgeable resource.
    • Proactive monitoring and managed services: This Level 2 support leverages proactive, 24/7 monitoring and management. This support comes from an operational NOC which is constantly monitoring clients’ infrastructures to identify and resolve problems before they cause additional issues or outages. This can be specialized in a Level 2A support, which stays within a limited technology area.
    • Technology and infrastructure support services: Level 3 provides …

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