By Angus Robertson, CRO, Axcient
Analyzing, discussing, and understanding the trends impacting MSP are critical to the future direction of our industry. As the vice chair of the Business Application Advisory Council for CompTIA, I recently participated in a panel discussion at ChannelCon in Las Vegas about Top Solutions and Verticals for SaaS Applications: New Revenue Opportunities. During the session, we shared insights on the top SaaS solutions and the leading vertical markets as well as where they’re being adopted, including consumer products/retail, manufacturing, telecom, and healthcare.
The discussion focused on three big technology growth areas for 2019 & beyond, including:
- Digital transformation
- Cloud adoption
- AI & analytics
In its 2019 Trends to Watch list, CompTIA includes digitization efforts (#4), cloud (#1), and AI (trend #2) as top picks. There’s an exciting opportunity for SaaS companies in this space. Now that these technologies have gained clout and are considered a competitive advantage by top-performing companies in fast-growing industries like healthcare and finance, it’s time for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) to make the leap, and MSPs need to be ready to help them.
Making Meaningful Connections
As advocates for managed service providers (MSPs), we want to connect proven SaaS companies in these high-growth areas to the channel. We believe doing so could significantly impact the ability of MSPs and their customers to gain the efficiency and insights necessary to move businesses forward.
As Heraclitus once said: “Change is the only constant in life.” Knowing how to strategically navigate these changes in a way the minimizes risk while creating profitable opportunities is ideal. When harnessed correctly, this is preciously the outcome digital transformation, cloud adoption, and AI & analytics can help organization achieve.
Elements Of A Successful New Service Launch
For MSPs interested in breaking into these technology services areas, here’s a good place to start:
- Focus on verticals you know
- Know the value proposition of new-to-your-portfolio SaaS solution(s)
- Create a new value proposition that incorporates new capabilities
- Present new solutions to existing customers
Beyond the basic steps of adopting and introducing new technologies to your company and customer base, there are a few other things we’re seeing successful MSPs do:
- Focus on market and technology dynamics first, then niche down
- Educate customers regarding emerging technologies, but don’t lose sight of customers’ core business challenges
Since customers rely on you for strategic direction surrounding new technologies, you’ll likely need to initiate conversations about emerging technologies rather than waiting for customers to ask you. Framing these conversations in a way that recognizes and aims to solves customers’ core business challenges is a good place to start.
What’s Holding MSPs Back
Complexities surrounding new verticals is causing MSPs to leave dollars on the table. The MSPs who find ways to harness emerging technologies to meet the needs of new and highly regulated industries—government, education, healthcare, insurance—will find themselves ahead of the pack.
Furthermore, when it comes to cloud migration, and productivity specifically, there’s a significant amount of untapped potential. Your cloud might consist of an Amazon, Microsoft, or Google platform, but there are significant “attach” opportunities. For example, backup. It’s a no-brainer.
Finding The Next Big Thing
Once you select a vertical—or verticals—to focus on, leverage the brainpower of vendors in that space to help build a roadmap. Then, look at your existing client base and evaluate how their businesses are evolving and might benefit from the new solutions you’re offering.
As a community, we must go up the value chain, evaluating verticals and solutions that are critical to the health of end customers. To begin to tackle these opportunities, MSPs should invest the time to routinely evaluate new SaaS offerings and vendors. Right now, we’re seeing a significant amount of opportunities in verticals using ERP and CRM solutions because seamlessly integrating these platforms with existing toolsets is essential to increase organizational efficiency.
To learn more about capitalizing on new revenue opportunities in SaaS, click here.
About The Author
Angus Robertson is CRO of Axcient.