As a precursor to IDC's Channels and Alliances 2013 partnering predictions report and webcast on February 6th 2013, we will be sharing a sneak preview of each of the top 10 predictions throughout January.
This blog post looks at the third of those predictions: that Partners Will Bet Big on Managed Services.
In betting, like life, there's winners and losers, but many channel partners must be holding aces up their sleeves in the realm of managed services. How else to explain what looks like a land rush of partners to providing managed service offerings in 2013.
Evidence of this is found in a mid-2012 IDC partner survey, which paints a clear picture of managed services adoption by partners. Only 45% of partners surveyed at that time offered some form of managed services, but close to half of the partners without managed services expected to add it to their mix by the end of 2013.
Perhaps this isn't that surprising, considering the growing market demand for managed services, and the need for partners to find new areas of growth for their businesses. Either way, it looks like managed services is driving to the heart of channel partner aspirations in creating incremental revenue and customer value expansion opportunities.
For infrastructure partners in particular, managed services represents a toehold, if not a fullfledged foothold, in a new business area that still has close associations with legacy in-house maintenance and support capabilities. For proof of this, simply look to the list of the top managed services partners offer: remote support, server monitoring, and network management.
Let's not also forget the value of economics, and having a more stable economic model supported by monthly recurring revenue. That's a big draw for partners with traditional business models where cash flow and financing are paramount challenges. But beyond that there's the other long-term benefit of creating customer "stickiness" through offering a level of transparency to previously opaque customer IT operations, and proactive identification of problem areas that can be converted into additional services.
So the big bet on managed services will happen in 2013, but we'll have to wait at least a year to start counting up the winners and losers.