Tuesday, August 05, 2008

MSP's in Chaos

As the MSP landscape continues to contract and the latest hype-cycle continues on it's precipitous downward trend, I worry for our future. The list of vendors manipulating our good, trusting natures to bridge the gap to eventually sell and service our clients direct is growing by the minute. Dell's apparent disingenuous approach to the channel and their willingness to sell to anyone or anything that has a pulse was to be expected. Microsoft's recent unveiling of it's SaaS strategy at the WPC is a seismic shift in their business model, and was enough to have left many Microsoft Partners angry as hell. HP's CEO recent comments about partners needing to get with the(his?) program or leave. Disintermediation in it's absolutely purist form!

In fact Stephen Eloph, the new Microsoft Channel Chief was quoted as saying "Every one of us has to embrace the fact that a lot has changed and will continue to change" - Scary stuff. Microsoft's new strategy includes trying to convince us to start bringing competitors into our customers - the old partner-to-partner ruse - to offset cost. I saw IBM do this when the hardware margins disappeared about 6-7 years ago along with half their channel. Earth to Steve, you've already decided that you're going to sell direct to my clients, so cutting costs horizontally is not going to save my margins. Just be straight and we'll live with it - But please don't load us on the the cattle train to Auschwitz while telling us we're going on vacation- We deserver more!

It makes you wonder if all of this was worth it. The late nights, the financial investments, the dangerous "turn on a dime" switch in approach? The wag is tailing the frikkin' dog as my grandfather used to say, and nobody knows what the fuck is going on. Really - no I'm serious dude! Guess what gents, we're being screwed....again! If you think I'm being negative you should read some of Charles Weaver's blog posts
at the MSPAlliance, because apparently he has no clear idea as too what is going on either.

Oh and by the way, would someone please tell the 12th Untangle sales rep to support my region in 6 months to stop calling! Open Source is apparently the new way to hijack your clients into thinking your hobbleware is free!


Charles Weaver said...

Johnny - I feel your pain. I really do. However, being the eternal optimist that I am I believe that the solution can be achieved by MSPs standing together and simply telling the bad vendors to back off.

Remember that the telco's tried this same thing a decade ago and it failed. Why? They could not replicate the relationship you guys have with the clients. Nobody ever seems to realize how valuable that is and how much power it gives you.

Keep on fighting. Nobody else can deliver the services like you can!!! Never forget that