Resellers and managed service providers may seem to be in competing lines of business, but in reality, the opposite is true. As the world moves increasingly toward Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) the role of the reseller will undergo a shift. However, they do not need to pit themselves against service providers. There is a symbiotic relationship that can be leveraged, with resellers bringing sales knowledge and the customer base, and service providers offering technical expertise and 24/7 services, something that is essential in a digital world.
Hardware is expensive
Digital transformation necessitates the use of technology to enhance business processes. However, it is a significant (and often unaffordable) investment for a company to maintain everything in-house. Not only is the hardware a costly capital expense, it also requires staff to implement and maintain it which adds to overheads. In today’s world, in-house environments could quickly become outdated.
These are some of the reasons that the ‘as-a-Service’ model has become such an attractive one. Using the cloud to host infrastructure or moving to online versions of software means that hardware and software administration are no longer required, since this is provided as part of the hosted service. Organisations pay only for a monthly service and have far less administrative responsibilities, which in turn reduces costs.
Skills are scarce, partnerships are essential
While services are now easily available to consume out of the cloud, the public cloud is not an option that suits every purpose or every business. In addition, there is no single cloud provider that can deliver the best of everything. The hybrid multi-cloud is the typical model used by the majority of businesses today and this in itself adds extra complexity into the mix. Many businesses need some form of management on top of their cloud solutions.
While resellers have, for the most part, adapted to the new model, they may not have the skills required to deliver this full service. It generally is not cost effective for them to do so either, since specialist skills are expensive to onboard and maintain. However, there is actually no reason why resellers need to become technical specialists as well as sales organisations.
Moving toward a new Skills as a Service model
The ideal solution is for resellers to team up with specialists such as managed service providers and subcontract their offerings to customers. This helps resellers broaden their offering by aggregating various service providers and taking a full solution to their customers. It is also a more cost-effective option than investing in specialist skills across the huge range of hosted platforms and software that is available today.
Managed service providers are not competition for resellers but can in fact be powerful allies. This ‘Skills-as-a-Service’ approach enables resellers to focus on their strengths of selling and account management while bolstering their offering with a broad range of services that will enhance their customer service. No single organisation can be an expert in everything, but by partnering with expert service providers in multiple areas, customers will have access to experts across the board, and resellers can deliver enhanced value-added offerings.
By Hemant Harie, MD at Gabsten