Sep 2018

Microsoft Managed Desktop – what direction is your MSP heading?

Microsoft Managed Desktop (MMD) Service for Enterprise officially launched last week in the U.K and the U.S and will commence operations in Australia & New Zealand early 2019.  The rumours were true after all.

The subscription service powered by Microsoft cloud will provision, deploy and manage Windows 10 devices and provide a more secure, more stable and always up to date environment.

In the past, Managed Service Providers offered customers solutions that focused on on-prem Exchange, Office and fileservers but since the Launch of O365, the need for these is decreasing over time. Now with this release, another traditional area of support is moving into the hands of in-house IT teams thanks to the tools released by Microsoft. As a managed service provider, I should be more concerned but I still see countless customers who require our specialised skills. This is where the opportunity remains and provides mutual benefit for both our organisation and our customers. While the threat of a large offshore player is always real, a deeper understanding of local conditions and a higher level of relationship with a local organisation will always be of greater value.

As I mentioned, specialisation is going to be key going forward. At a minimum, you need to be able to offer anything in your vertical, know the lay of the land and position your company as experts, not just computer janitors. It is a little cynical, but that is where our world developed, “we’ll do the messy work you can’t be bothered doing”. Now, we as MSPs need to realise that our role is to do the additional work the customer hasn’t the time, resource or knowledge base to do. We must add value, not catch value.

As a Service Operations Manager, managing a team of Service Delivery Managers (and more) I am an advocate of making decisions in support of customer business interests not our own.  You are not a trusted advisor if your solution offers software revenue above directing customers to the right product.

For those who see a new release and immediately think they are going to bleed dry and be left in the dust, it is not because of Microsoft, it is because your model is lacking efficacy and the way you guide your customers isn’t adding value from their point of view.

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