Pay attention folks! Keep your eye on the ball! The managed service industry is changing as fast as technology itself. Do you hear any changes coming your way? To quote my favorite movie, “Hear that Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability.”
Next thing you know, Microsoft will be displacing seats of Zenith and other Master MSPs. Don’t believe it? check out Mary-Jo Foley’s column from last week where she writes:
Microsoft is continuing to flesh out its Software+Service portfolio and has yet another, still-unannounced, Microsoft-hosted service that it is developing. The new member of the family? System Center Online, according to tipsters who talked under the conditiion of anonymity.
While I may or may not have any insight into this issue (NDA) I will nevertheless refrain from making any public statements about what I may or may not know. Let’s review the facts anyway shall we?
- Microsoft is moving as much as possible to the cloud like SharePoint, Exchange, OCS, CRM etc. Why not the tools that manage the remaining local installs of those products.
- Microsoft has continued to build out their new support center in China to scale well beyond their current demand.
- The implementation of a MSP support model to support MSPs.
- Microsoft Partners both new and seasoned continue to report that AV, backup, patch and license management are their top headaches when it comes to managing customers networks.
- Companies like mine are each spending thousands of dollars on Remote Monitoring and Manages systems each month that constantly break each time there is a software change on the customer’s network.
Hmmm, what per seat, in the cloud solution, could possible fit into this part of the jigsaw puzzle?
System Center Online will be an online-management service aimed at IT pros, sources said. It is being developed by the same team that has built the Windows Update (WU), Windows Software Update Services (WSUS) and Microsof Update (MU) patch-update services. Among the services that Microsoft is expected to build into the comprehensive System Center Online service are anti-virus, anti-spyware, system monitoring, backup/restore, asset inventory monitoring, policy management and software distribution/deployment.
Mary-Jo Foley is either a genius at getting inside information on Microsoft or is a deliberate PR tool empowered to do Microsoft’s bidding. I personally believe it is both.
When I was running a dot.com at the in the day we would write our business plans in sand knowing tomorrow something may force us to change. Forced change or not, when running an MSP I can’t urge you enough to keep one eye on your business and one eye on the industry.