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How MSPs can bounce back after the coronavirus crisis

Channel companies are the unsung heroes of the pandemic, argues Datto’s Mark Simon

The global coronavirus crisis is creating new challenges for businesses around the world. In April, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned the economy could shrink by as much as 35%, with two million job losses. This is a stark outlook indeed, with many small businesses already taking a bit.

The economic effects of this unprecedented situation will be felt throughout the IT channel, but perhaps post-pandemic, there may be some silver linings and opportunities for managed service providers (MSPs) to bounce back with a vengeance. The truth is that many of them are currently doing a very essential job in helping their clients stay online and businesses to remain open, but the value of the services MSPs provide is often under-appreciated. This may change.

Let’s face it, at any other point in history the industry would not have been prepared for the vast number of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to transition to remote working – neither from a technology nor from a service delivery perspective. Without the support of their trusted MSPs, who knows how many companies would be out of business right now?

This is a time when MSPs really deserve a pat on the back. And when we finally come out of the pandemic, we may look back and see that the channel actually proved to be more resilient than ever before.

Recurring revenue models have strengthened the channel

For a start, MSPs are in a much better position now than they were during the 2008 recession. Then, the MSP model was still coming to fruition. There was a lot of hesitation about whether this was the true evolution of the SMB channel. MSP technologies such as remote monitoring and management (RMM) and professional services automation (PSA) were still maturing.