The MSP world is not immune to similar syntheses and consolidation. It used to be that companies worked with multiple vendors simultaneously, deploying different products into different areas of the business and managing vendor relationships internally. This thinking has changed. Businesses and organizations have begun re-evaluating their vendor relationships. This has created increased competition among providers to push more companies to consolidate offerings to capture a larger share of the market while meeting customer needs and appealing to scarce and sought-after IT talent.

Now, as businesses buckle down in the face of the unknown, they are further consolidating security vendors, as a way to prepare their remote workforce for long-term work-from-home scenarios. Moving forward, these businesses are more likely going to employ a single vendor, maybe two, that provide them with all the security services needed to get them through these challenging times.

So what does this mean for MSPs? Your customers are likely starting to think about umbrella software suites that they can rely on for all their security needs and to help secure their remote workforce, largely due to pain points around multi-vendor approaches like:

Resource-intensive integration

Integrating solutions from disparate vendors is taxing on a customer’s time, energy and personnel. When multiple solutions need to be managed separately by different expert teams, it puts a huge strain on internal teams. In this way, customers working with multiple vendors sacrifice productive software start-up timelines, which is no doubt a costly burden. This is why it’s more imperative than ever for tools to opt-in on integration and move away from siloed operating styles. By working with a consolidated service provider, customers get a running start because their provider knows the industry and has the resources to get a program going quickly.

Distractions to internal teams

In a multi-vendor setup, owners and leaders find they are too busy to effectively maintain multiple relationships and learn what they need to know about each vendor organization. This dynamic hurts the MSP because it doesn’t provide the opportunity for complete trust in its partners. Without turning over full confidence to the solution provider, a customer’s time is tied up in managing what should be left to operate in confidence, and it soaks up resources that could otherwise be spent moving their company forward.

Unmanageable security risks

Security risk management, both with MSP’s and with the services they are providing their clients, is becoming increasingly important. Partners don’t have the skills or time to properly deal with the heavy burden of security risk across multiple vendors, especially considering that many MSPs absorb security risks for their customers with little to no understanding of what that means for both sides if security flaws were to occur. Larger companies that have been in the business longer are less susceptible to security risks and have stronger security systems in place. This lets customers sleep a little better at night.

Inviting customers to go all in

The shift to favoring an all-in-one solution begs MSPs to get deep with their customers. MSP product portfolios must be able to fit customers’ needs, rather than the other way around. Fewer partners in the game mean customers will call out for a relational footprint that makes way for deeper engagement and consultative, rather than transactional, selling.

When MSPs get to know customers at a more personal and detailed level, it unlocks ample opportunity to not only cross-sell but change and grow with a customer for years. Customers will want to pick your company and go all in. So, let them.

Photo: cosma / Shutterstock

Brad Schow

Posted by Brad Schow

Brad Schow is the VP of Consulting Services for ConnectWise. Prior to joining the ConnectWise staff, Schow has served as a peer coach and business consultant at HTG after 20 years growing a solutions and managed service provider business. His path of technician, service leader, operations leader, president and partner has given him a unique perspective that allows him to relate to a broad spectrum of business challenges. He credits much of the success to the peer group experience and the relationships that grew out of HTG. He loves investing in people, thinking ahead, building teams and helping others find success. To learn more about Brad's work, visit www.connectwise.com

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