The concept of a Managed Service Provider (MSP) is not necessarily new, but it can be difficult for organizations to understand.
What exactly is an MSP? What does it take to become a next-generation MSP? How does an organization begin that process on Amazon Web Services (AWS)?
At a high level, the next-generation of AWS MSP is committed to three key principles:
- Provide positive and continuous education to customers, and provide consulting services. MSP will never just hide behind the curtains to observe the operation of customers. This allows the MSP to transition from a break / repair relationship to a trusted advisor’s break / repair relationship. You want your customers to revere you, not to revile you.
- Leading AWS professional services, just like Systems Integrator (SI). This is not an after-thought; the next-generation of AWS MSPs must establish themselves as expert advisors the first time they interact. They only use internal talent and third parties or subsidiaries in SI when necessary. MSP uses these one-time events as training opportunities to further build and train their customers.
- Encourage customers to use and develop on AWS services. The next-generation of AWS MSPs is moving from the operating system layer to application-level services.。
Education and Advocacy is the Priority
Basically, AWS customers are full of curiosity.
If you are not actively answering customer questions with your knowledge, you will be robbing them of opportunities to learn with each participation. When you encounter a customer’s AWS account facing the same question or making the same mistake as before, you can choose to :
- Let them continue to make these mistakes, ask you and seek solutions, but this will validate the customer’s confidence and need for your services.
- Teach them how to avoid these common pitfalls through hands-on exercises or other touch points.
Traditional MSP business models are developing rapidly. Customers need comprehensive cloud-native solutions that can reduce costs, increase business agility, enhance security, and enable organizations to focus on their goals.
The next-generation of AWS MSP is not only focused on the state of resource operation, but also on the four key areas that help customers succeed: Plan and design; Build and migrate; Run and operate; and Optimize.
Building SI Capabilities is a Must
The charter of the next-generation AWS MSP is the introduction of powerful professional services.
According to Markets＆Market data, by 2020, the global MSP market is estimated to reach $ 53.8 billion. Powerful ProServe import capabilities open the door to competing 70% (estimated at $ 37.9 billion) of these opportunities.
Learn more about the global MSP market in a study commissioned by AWS from Forrester Consulting, which conducted a Total Economic Impact (TEI) study to examinethe business opportunities that next-generations of AWS MSPs could achieve.
If you don’t have ProServe capabilities, you can’t think of it as a next-generation AWS MSP. Without this first-touch introduction, your customers are statistically less likely to get you involved in more complex workloads over time, especially those with your assistance in building the infrastructure.
What Does the Future Hold for MSPs?
As the next-generation of AWS MSP, just like in any good fishing trip, you want to have the opportunity to catch something, and you want to be able to move forward in any situation. Some key tenants of AWS Cloud are flexible and elastic. If something you use doesn’t work, you can change it.
Ultimately, this is your customer’s account, and they can do what they want. You can accompany customers as they demand new technologies and grow while they continue to grow.
Does your MSP approach suffer when customers modernize and reduce overall infrastructure costs? You have to accept this and add value to your customers through your superpowers. You can focus on application-level services such as managedHadoop products, managedbackups, disaster recovery as a service.
Alternatively, you can build a customized solution based on AWS services such as Amazon EC2 or Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). These solutions can be unique solutions that your business offers to customers.
Compared to traditional MSP reseller profits, the profit opportunities for application-level products are much higher (as shown in the chart above, at 7% and 28%, respectively). This is a great opportunity for your business to do such a thing for a large customer at once, and it can also be done by providing a better service to the large customer.
I encourage you to take a closer look at what makes today’s architectures better (even if you’re not an audited AWS MSP) and build on that. Think of these features as your superpowers and make them fundamental to what you do.
Today your customers may only use Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and Amazon Route 53, but within 12 months they may start exploring containers and other advanced services. To be the next-generation AWS MPS, your organization must be flexible enough to allow this exploration-instead of offering Type A contracts in the face of one thing and in the face of another Type B contract.
Guardrails are good things, but they can also be a big obstacle, especially if you want to explore and learn. Most, but not all, customers are already exploring advanced services without your knowledge.
If you’re not looking at your own data set to gather more information customers want and what they’re struggling with, start now. Shaping customers’ options for the next 3-5 years. Just like a good fishing spot, your customers will remember and return to it again and again.
These aspects can completely change your narrative completely. Now you should be proactive in thinking about your customers ’problems, understand what they are experiencing, and provide solutions in real time.
Your AWS MSP features and products can also evolve as customer needs change. With a competent work team, you can build your footing right from the start. And once you start to change your approach and refocus your mind on what might happen in the future, it’s easier to justify your monthly charges.