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The Changing Face of Managed Services

The Changing Face of Managed Services

2018 MSP Journey

Staying in the top ranks of MSPs isn’t easy, and it never comes to those who wait. Stephen Moss, PCM Senior Vice President of Services, knows this all too well. PCM has been ranked No. 2 on the MSP 501 list for the last two years. And, in the last few months, Stephen has done a great deal of reflecting about how we’ve come this far, what the market has in store for the industry, and how PCM and others should plan for the future.

You can read below what Stephen had to say with the series of 3 succinct posts he has done on LinkedIn:

PART I*. “As we rapidly approach the next round of annual ranking season in technology circles, my mind turns over the blessing of PCM having been ranked 2nd on the MSPMentor Global 501 list for the last two years running. We are joined by some great competitors in the top five and I believe competition will drive innovation into the Managed Services Provider space for years to come. Customers, partner companies and OEM’s all benefit when the MSP community innovates and I believe the next 3 years will be some of the brightest and most active. The intersection of Cloud technologies and MSP’s enables new interesting value equations for customers and offers a paradigm shift for service providers willing to go “all in” with tooling and automation. We now are able to bring principals from other more mature sectors, such as lean manufacturing, into the technology services space in ways that saves substantial dollars. I look forward to sharing more about our journey in this and adjacent technology deliver services spaces in the coming months.”

PART II**. “As customers demand more value from managed services providers, we must continue to innovate in new and somewhat complex ways. MSP’s must invest in ways that radically streamline workflows from sourcing into workload orchestration activities and across the complete lifecycle, inclusive of 24/7 operational excellence. Unless a MSP works on both acquisition of IT solutions and operational support in nearly equal investment weight, market forces will rip deeply into the today’s typical full service provider value equation. I believe this will relegate many in the provider market today to choose between brokering cloud services or providing day two managed support. While this may be a gross simplification; I’m confident this will lead to many service providers to chase dollars on the front side of cloud or value on the back side of cloud. This will be to the detriment of customer’s dependent on functional managed services.

The balanced equation of rapidly sourcing solutions and fanatical full support is where I believe we must remain hyper-focused as we enter the “next generation MSP universe”. Thankfully, we have years of experience to draw from in these spaces. From expertise in ServiceNow as a single pane of glass platform for service (it’s replete with workflows, orchestration elements, event management and service level control) to having multiple languages for the service desk – we are incredibly well-positioned. As we stir in an enhanced cloud marketplace as a front door, we’re bringing enterprise solutions to bear in minutes to a single day, inclusive of devices and applications – all to the delight of our customer.”

PART III***. In June we reached two great milestones. First, we crossed the 1,000 mark in managed services customers, and secondly we achieved the #2 rank again in the MSPmentor Global 501 for the 3rd year running.

In the prior two installments, I covered the case for managed services as the primary service delivery vehicle in the cloud era; then touched upon the level of service required in this evolving service delivery format. Today, I’m going briefly speak to the role of interconnected command & control and decision environments and why managed service providers must be heavily invested in more than features and functions.

As I meet with customers and prospective customers virtually every week – the array of demands everyone is facing to “just keep the lights on” in the IT space continues to steal away precious energy cycles from even the most talented and outsource savvy teams.  Time to innovate for their respective business is relegated to projects like the typical platform upgrade decisions, ERP/MRP replacements and operational activities to ensure we’re all keeping all the technology patched well enough to thwart all known security threats. Unless we change the paradigm to reach nearly 100% rapid release management in virtually all sectors, where micro improvements occur in rapid succession, these monolithic decision approaches to platforms, applications and even service delivery will only continue to steal away a disproportionate amount of our collective talent capital.

Managed Services providers must integrate securely with customers for information, process and even semi-autonomous decision making. Notice I stayed away from “outsourced decision making” ..that simply is still not working well (in my opinion) whether we talk technical, business, accounting or other spaces. Companies basically invest and even over-invest in watchers and decisions makers to check, recheck and sometime even do the work of those they’ve outsourced too.

If we all invest in building smarter ways to work across borders, including smart RPA (robotic process automation that is secure, thoughtful and meaningful) – we can offload more mundane work efforts. These improvements come through micro releases that require very short decision cycles and advance service delivery mediums of all types. This outcome must be the future of Managed Service teams, our partners and customers. Then we can all fulfill the demand for ever shrinking cost per unit scale required.  This will enable us to collectively manage the rapid expansion of IoT, securing computing and other rapidly scaling technology elements in our businesses.”

As conclusion, PCM remains committed to providing customers with the right IT solutions and services at the right price.

Stephen’s thoughts have received a good amount of attention. Channel Futures recently published an article covering those three posts and the message behind them. In it, you can read about new strategies for business development, the path of managed security services providers, what it means to sink or swim and the many innovative adaptations over the years that have led to PCM’s ranking on the MSP 501.


Learn More about PCM Managed Services PCM delivers innovative Managed Services, with technical specialists who can monitor, manage and support your entire IT environment, providing a single point of contact for your technology needs.





About the Author
Stephen Moss
Senior Vice President of Services




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