The importance of managed services is continuously increasing for the Microsoft 365 partners. According to the recent Forrester Total Economic Impact Study, commissioned by Microsoft, the managed services will become all the more important in the financial year 2020 (FY20).
Providing managed services helps the partners to improve their overall engagement rate and profitability. As per Forrester, the demand for managed services has increased for the teamwork and security and compliance services.
Partners prefer managed services to develop more strategic partnerships with their customers. Using these services, they are also able to create more accurate long-term planning, budgeting, and investing. The partners have been able to convince their customers that to digitally transform the organizations, they will need to use services like Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365.
What are managed services?
A Managed Service Provider (MSP) bears the responsibility for the functionality of an organization’s IT services and infrastructure, so the business can focus on its core competencies.
Thus, in the managed model, the MSP partner takes on, runs and transforms an organization’s business operations and processes to increase its productivity and operational efficiency.
The demand for managed services is largely driven by various factors, some of which include:
- Volatile, unpredictable macroeconomic environment.
- Increased pressure to innovate while keeping pace with technological advancements.
- Need to meet the demands of regulatory compliance.
- Lack of internal and deep technical expertise.
Managed Services Market trends that are driving opportunities for partners
What’s driving the opportunities for managed service providers?
Let’s have a deep dive into the current market trends and opportunities:
Need for building out security capabilities
Businesses of all sizes (both SMBs and large enterprises) are realizing the need for developing their security capabilities. The aim is to achieve security readiness and empower their in-house teams to transform the company digitally.
One of the biggest pain points for businesses is that most of them don’t have a dedicated IT team to take care of security capabilities. Partners address this pain point by providing security expertise integrated with managed services.
Microsoft 365 partners are helping businesses to decrease the number of agents on endpoints by making them adopt Microsoft 365 security stack. It also helps customers to simplify the monitoring and remediation of vulnerabilities.
Management of unified collaboration
Managed services are also being used to support and manage the unified collaboration transformation. While collaboration services like Microsoft Teams are easy to use, partners found that the businesses are finding it difficult to apply security and governance components required to make the most of the collaboration services.
Additionally, the businesses are realizing that they have to interact with partners to leverage the full potential of Microsoft Teams. What partners do is configure the crucial components which improve the user experiences.
According to Forrester, “this has created new opportunities to deploy new solutions, add service wrappers, and layer on custom-IP business solutions.”
Most of the partners said that they see Teams as the new starting for selling Microsoft 365.
Maximum utilization of licenses
Businesses want to make the most of their licenses. They do this by leveraging more of their Microsoft licenses to meet the existing demands, or by consolidating their existing application stack.
Managed service provider industry has invested the last year to show the businesses that the Microsoft security and communication stacks are stronger. These stacks can take care of the changing requirements of businesses of all sizes.
Management of conference rooms and telephony systems
Businesses are looking to replace their existing legacy PBX solutions and transfer the dedicated meeting room systems to a single platform based on Microsoft 365. They want to be effective by using transformational initiatives.
Microsoft 365 partners here have the opportunity to win these deals by providing businesses management offerings.
Full Forrester report is available here.
These managed services trends in 2019 indicate advanced teamwork, including meeting and calling for enterprises. Also, the security, compliance, and modern desktop services are also driving the demand for managed services among SMBs as well as large enterprises.
What according to you is the future of managed service providers?