When it comes to managed services, vendors that provide all-in-one platforms for professional services automation that includes remote monitoring and management capabilities can offer a number of benefits, such interoperability and convenience.
But channel providers may need other solutions not included in a single vendor’s stack, making individual point solutions from multiple vendors more appealing.
“All-in-one platforms let managed service providers work with fewer vendors, minimising the processes they have to work with,” says Moheb Moses, director, Channel Dynamics, and ANZ Community Director, CompTIA.
“This saves time, training, and billing issues. At the same time, each element of an all-in-one platform is typically designed to leverage other system features.
“This offers developers the opportunity to build on more functionality than can those simply using an application programming interface.
“Not all managed service providers, however, will want to rely on a single vendor for their critical business operations. There can be some disadvantages, and each provider needs to evaluate to work out whether implementing an all-in-one platform is the best option.”
Going forward, Moses offers some key insights for partners to consider:
1. Dependence on a single vendor’s tools
Generally speaking, a provider effectively builds its business the systems and tools offered by the vendor or vendors with which it partners.
For this reason, Moses believes it is important to be comfortable with the supplier’s ability to support the long-term needs of the provider and its customers.
While some vendors provide robust application programming interfaces to other managed services vendors to integrate their functionality, Moses says not all platforms offer this capability.
“Providers should discuss all their available tool options with potential platform vendors about what the APIs can, and can’t do,” he adds.
For Moses, a strong channel account manager can be invaluable to a managed services provider, helping them navigate the vendor’s on-boarding process.
“By contrast, if the channel account manager isn’t up to scratch, it can make it much harder for a provider to make the most of the vendor’s entire tool-set,” Moses adds.
“Providers should extensively vet the vendor, talk with other partners of that vendor, and determine whether a good relationship can be forged.”