Information Technology has never covered a broader variety of tech than it does today, and the umbrella label of IT only includes more solutions as time goes on. This is putting MSPs in tricky situations since it's never nice to say "no" to a client request, especially since your customers are relying on you to keep their IT (and their business) online and up to date. This is how becoming a channel partner with an infrastructure management provider really elevates your business since it gives you a helping hand when it comes to keeping up with the ever evolving responsibilities of an IT services manager.
What does it mean to be a managed infrastructure channel partner?
Infrastructure management companies operate data centres which are equipped with advanced infrastructure solutions for cooling, power, and network connections, making them ideal for hosting IT systems. Being a channel partner, or an IT reseller, for an infrastructure management company means that you can now offer these infrastructure services to your customers. This will help you, as an MSP, deliver new solutions, making it easier to retain customers and win new business. There are five big reasons why working with a managed infrastructure partner is a smart idea for MSPs.
1. Increase your service offering
Colocation, cloud, connectivity and cyber security solutions all fall under managed infrastructure and will be on offer from your partner. This means they will be equipped with resilient and reliable power, cooling and connectivity infrastructure, as well as top notch security and 24/7/365 monitoring.
No matter what services you currently provide to your customers, a well equipped data centre partner will be ready to help you host it, increasing the resilience, security, and monitoring that you're providing to customers, without having to invest in any new hardware or staff. Additionally, once you're hosting in a data centre, you can integrate in any services that your partner offers and you don't, allowing you to offer a broader variety of solutions compared to other MSPs. This will help you win new business and retain existing clients who are adapting their IT to suit new needs.
We’ve recently seen an increased focus on cyber security from our customers across a wide range of industries. Even if you're already handling the security for your customers internally, partnering with an infrastructure management provider will boost the physical security around your customers' servers, and protect them with 24/7/365 monitoring.
2. Expand your team
Operating a data centre requires an extensive team of technical experts who cover a wide range of knowledge and capabilities. You are effectively expanding your team and your technical expertise when you partner with an infrastructure manager, since you’ll now have access to these experts to get advice and launch new solutions.
This ties into expanding your service offering, since they will have expertise you don’t currently have internally, meaning you don’t have to hire anyone else in to fill that gap. But there are other benefits to have this expanded team, like 24/7/365 monitoring of your customers’ systems, and reducing the pressure on your internal team, allowing them to focus on other projects.
3. Managed infrastructure companies aren’t your competitors
Since you’re both offering IT solutions it might feel like you’re partnering with a competitor, which feels risky. But while you’re in the same industry, MSPs and managed infrastructure companies are providing different services to different demographics of customers.
A useful analogy is to compare infrastructure managers to farms, and MSPs to restaurants:
- While they both provide food, no one looking for a ready-to-eat meal will go digging in a field.
- Even though restaurants serve food from farms, the added value of the restaurant is obvious.
- Restaurants can grow some of their own ingredients and then only buy what they need from wholesalers, in the same way you can choose what services you use from your partner.
4. Make money off your dead-end leads
Your sales team will regularly spend time talking to people who are looking at adopting new IT solutions, but then qualifying them out for a wide variety of reasons. Sometimes that reason will be that this prospective client really prioritises infrastructure, and wants to have direct access to it and the company providing it. This is going to be a difficult sell for an MSP, but doesn't mean you have to entirely lose out on the opportunity.
Your managed infrastructure partner will offer a referral fee scheme, so that you can make some money off of these leads you’ve qualified out for your own services. Essentially, you’ll have a reliable partner that will let you make money from conversations your sales team are already having.
5. Have leads sent your way
And lead referral will work both ways. Infrastructure managers will regularly speak to people who need a managed services provider, partnering with them will mean these leads get sent your way.
How much are you currently spending on marketing that is focused on lead generating? It’s a really valuable part of this partnership, and they will be sending high quality leads since their sales team will have spent time finding out the leads’ requirements, and they can pass all of that information on to you as well.
How do you find an infrastructure management partner?
There are a lot of criteria for choosing a managed infrastructure partner, but you can effectively consider yourself a customer when making this decision. Is it a convenient location? Are their service offerings comprehensive? Do they have a good service record and are they reliable?
At 4D we provide award-winning infrastructure solutions, with 99.999% network uptime, and not a single power failure in our history. If you’re interested in becoming part of our partner programme, where we work with MSPs to increase the business opportunities for everyone involved, learn more here, or get in touch to discuss our potential partnership.