Episode 53: Building Value and New Revenue for MSPs with Ingram Micro Cloud

John Dusett hs
John Dusett02/16/2022

Managed service providers (MSPs) have become essential partners for organizations during the pandemic, offering support for remote work and data protection. In this episode of #shifthappens, we sat down with John Dusett, the executive director of US cloud services for Ingram Micro Cloud to discuss the increasing value of MSPs as hybrid work models continue to evolve. MSPs are IT service providers that cater to businesses of all sizes, offering expertise, agility, and scale. Smaller companies often outsource their IT needs to MSPs, while larger enterprises may seek MSPs' help for specific technologies and innovations outside their skill set.

Ingram Micro Cloud acts as a bridge between technology innovators like Microsoft, Cisco, AWS, and AvePoint, and the problem solvers—IT providers and MSPs—who address on-the-ground IT challenges. MSPs have grown in importance in recent years due to the demand for rapid change, scalability, and cloud migration. They provide deep expertise in specific areas, enabling companies to adopt new technologies and accelerate their business processes.

Ingram Micro collaborates with MSPs to enhance their offerings and capabilities. MSPs rely on Ingram Micro's portfolio of solutions to augment their existing services and meet the diverse needs of their clients. Ingram Micro serves as a trusted resource for MSPs, ensuring they have access to a wide range of technology solutions to better serve their end customers.

As the business landscape continues to evolve, MSPs play a crucial role in supporting organizations' technological advancements and growth. Ingram Micro Cloud and its partnerships with MSPs provide a valuable ecosystem that enables businesses to thrive in the ever-changing IT landscape.

In the world of managed service providers (MSPs), it is not necessary for them to be experts in every major tech company. They can specialize in a few areas and rely on partners like Ingram Micro to fill the gaps. Small MSPs often struggle to get the attention of big tech companies, so partnering with organizations like Ingram Micro helps them gain access to necessary resources. Even larger MSPs may choose to collaborate with others to enhance their offerings.

The pandemic brought IT providers and MSPs to the forefront as businesses sought solutions to enable remote work. MSPs played a crucial role in quickly transitioning employees to remote setups, exemplifying their problem-solving capabilities. Cloud adoption became a central focus due to its scalability and ease of deployment, allowing businesses to continue operations and serve customers effectively. Success stories emerged from various industries, highlighting the significance of MSPs in facilitating the cloud transformation.

Amidst the rapid cloud adoption, MSPs faced challenges in sustaining the changes they implemented. The focus shifted to ensuring the long-term sustainability of remote work and the ability to adapt to ongoing organizational changes. MSPs supported their clients in securing remote workers and their data, managing expenses, and setting up policies and governance frameworks. Furthermore, MSPs aimed to help customers fully use the technology they had deployed, enabling not only specific use cases but also enhancing overall employee productivity and well-being.

MSPs, along with partners like Ingram Micro, continue to address the evolving needs of businesses in terms of technology adoption and optimization. They play a crucial role in solving complex IT challenges and supporting organizations in navigating the changing landscape brought about by the pandemic and the ongoing shift to remote and hybrid work models.

Dusett then discussed the importance of customer success and driving sustainable adoption of cloud technology for MSPs (Managed Service Providers). A study conducted by Ingram Micro Cloud reveals that most MSPs are increasing their investments in customer success, realizing that helping customers transition to the cloud is not enough. MSPs need to help end customers in using all available tools and maximizing their investments. The focus is on driving adoption, securing collaboration, automating governance, and providing additional services to ensure customers' safety and productivity.

The study also found MSPs must offer value-added services beyond transactional relationships. By solving customers' problems and helping them fully adopt technology, MSPs build long-term partnerships and reduce the risk of losing customers. Customer success becomes key to the adoption of innovative technology. The evolving business model positions MSPs as business partners, actively ideating solutions, and contributing to the growth and success of their customers' businesses.

Dusset also highlighted ransomware as a growing threat, with over half of MSPs reporting that their end customers have experienced ransomware attacks. He believes further education is needed about ransomware, both within the IT industry and among end customers. MSPs play a crucial role in educating customers about the risks, impacts, and ways to mitigate ransomware threats. The education phase is seen as a priority, requiring quick action to raise awareness and protect customers.

Next, Dusset emphasized the need for MSPs to educate their customers about the risks and benefits of adopting new technologies and the importance of taking proactive measures to protect their businesses. By providing guidance and solutions, MSPs can position themselves as valuable partners in navigating the rapidly changing technology landscape. MSPs constantly educate their customers, using webinars, podcasts, and other platforms to highlight new capabilities and features of technologies like Microsoft 365. This combination of generating awareness, adding value, and ensuring customer success is a way for MSPs to build trust and loyalty with their customers.

Dusset explained MSPs also have an advantage as subject matter experts in areas that end customers may not have the time or expertise to delve into. By tapping into these opportunities and being a trusted resource, MSPs can expand their businesses and provide added value to their customers. These opportunities include focusing on customer success and fully adopting technologies, treating cloud services as an extension of core competencies, and emphasizing the importance of balancing customer acquisition with customer success. By investing in customer success, using core competencies, and finding the right balance, MSPs can create successful business models and foster long-term relationships with their customers.

Turning to the future Dusset believes there are four emerging practice areas for MSPs: cybersecurity, collaboration and communication, business applications, and infrastructure. MSPs can differentiate themselves by building expertise in these areas and using them as extensions of their existing successful business models.

Another crucial piece of advice is the need for MSPs to develop a deliberate sales and marketing plan. Having a plan in place can make an immediate difference on execution and success.

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