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The value of and for a partner

IT outsourcing: is it the standard?

Many companies have taken their IT environment out of the equation in recent years. In many such situations, the decision is made to house this with a local MSP. Reasons are diverse, but the increasing complexity of IT and difficulty in hiring qualified staff have been two significant motivations. But also, the increasing use of SaaS applications makes owning your infrastructure less obvious.

With the corona pandemic came the need for everyone to be able to work from home. Add to that the growing number of cyber security incidents and outsourcing IT seems obvious.

Most organisations, especially those that no longer have their own IT department, are looking for a partner to help them make the right choices within IT and pick up the phone when unexpected problems arise.

The word Cloud is often dropped as a kind of silver bullet. Yet, in practice, it more often becomes a delivery model for IT capacity, and the necessary knowledge is required to deal with it properly.

The decision is often then made to house IT with a local MSP.

Opportunity collaboration with partners

All in all, a fertile environment for MSPs, one would think. This is true, but the situation at MSPs is also becoming more complex. Especially the changing support demand from the customer and the requirements regarding regulations, for example, play a role here. Finding well-qualified staff is also tricky for the MSP, the IT specialist. Smaller MSPs, in particular, struggle to keep all the balls in the air.

And then, of course, there is competition from hyperscalers both on price and continuous innovation. A distinctive value proposition with a strong emphasis on your customer base prevents a downward spiral with only price as a differentiator. In doing so, instead of the so-called Red Ocean, you will enter the sought-after blue variety, the Blue Ocean.

If you want to bring a strong and competitive value proposition to the market, partnering with other parties – to still provide a complete service – is the obvious way to go.

The most important “asset” that MSPs have is the relationship with the client and the position of trust that often goes back years. But to retain that same customer, innovation and change are crucial. As mentioned, the customer is changing, so you will have to keep up as an MSP.

Therefore, building a so-called partner ECO system offers many advantages:

  • Greater scale in infrastructure and associated tooling from partners can be leveraged
  • Own investments can be made in customer success to strengthen further and expand customer relationships.
  • New value propositions can be tested and built quickly; no or limited upfront investment is necessary
  • Specialist knowledge, for example, in the area of security, can be purchased from a partner and integrated into its services
  • Costly (ISO, NEN, SAS70) certifications no longer have to be obtained all by yourself; those of partners in the chain can also be used
  • The offer to the customer is much more complete, further strengthening the relationship

So there are plenty of reasons for MSPs to stop doing everything themselves and actively work with an ECO system of partners.

At the same time, we also see developments among the more extensive or highly specialised MSPs. Building new and innovative services is no easy task, not simple, and again, the combination of personnel and scale plays a role.

Setting up a partner channel can also be a solution here. The MSP market is consolidating considerably, but not everyone is in for acquisition.

And where does that leave the client?

But most important of all, of course, is: what benefits the customer? Dependence on IT is increasing, and complexity is growing. Applying IT to support primary business processes is undergoing significant change.

New developments, such as AI, IoT, Digital Twin, and many more, are the order of the day. Thus, a client (the entrepreneur) strongly needs a partner who understands his business well and supports him. They don’t want to talk to a different vendor for every partial solution and become responsible for integration themselves.

So as a partner, the MSP will have to connect more with the business and dwell less on technology. By offering your customer a total solution from an ECO system of partners, you, as an MSP, can add the correct value for your customer.

How can Force21 help?

This phenomenon is already present in the MSP market but is only recently beginning to emerge, partly due to the many acquisitions. The advantages of such a model are apparent. At the same time, this does require a change at the MSP. Where perhaps doing everything yourself has been the default until now, such an approach opens up many new possibilities and opportunities. And so this requires another way of thinking.

As a specialist in MSPs, Force21 knows like no other. Our team can support you in this regard. So make a no-obligation appointment with us.


Do you want to know more or have a talk? Plan a call with Thijs van Hofwegen, the founder of Force21.

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