Amid mass confusion in the MSP cybersecurity market, ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini is striving to simplify technology services and pricing models for partners.
The background: Most MSPs realize they need to push deeper into cybersecurity services. But they're often not sure what that means in terms of talent, technology services and pricing models. Building out dedicated SOCs (security operations centers) and hiring a full team of security analysts isn't an affordable option for most small MSPs.
So what's the true path forward for MSPs pushing into cybersecurity? Bellini does not want to dictate pricing and the specific services that partners offer. But he does want to provide a cybersecurity framework -- a starting point -- to help MSPs harden their own businesses. Those MSPs, in turn, must safeguard customers from cyberattacks.
MSP Pricing: Three Tiers to Consider
During ConnectWise IT Nation Connect 2018, Bellini outlined about two dozen technology services and organized them into three tiers -- priced at the following example levels:
- MSP 1.0 Technology Services with basic security: $125 per user per month
- MSP 2.0 Technology Services with more advanced security: $175 per user per month
- MSP 3.0 Technology Services with the most advanced security: $250+ per user per month
MSP Pricing Levels: What to Include
The two-dozen or so technology and cybersecurity services that MSPs should consider, according to Bellini, are listed below. ChannelE2E built the chart based on information we captured from Bellini's keynote:
Just to reiterate: The prices above do not represent ConnectWise's products. They're simply meant as examples to help MSPs build, organize and tier their next-generation service catalogs.
MSP Pricing: Is $250 Per User Per Month Possible?
The big question -- can MSPs really charge $250 per user per month for a complete suite of technology services and advanced cybersecurity services?
Today's best MSPs are charging around $125 to $150 per user per month, ChannelE2E estimates. Certain vertical market customers that deeply value compliance, data protection and data security may be willing to pay a market premium for additional, more advanced cybersecurity services.
ChannelE2E suspects we're in for a multi-year pricing model journey before MSPs truly figure out what they can charge for more advanced cybersecurity services -- and which customers will pay for the most advanced features.
To help MSPs with their own profit margins, ConnectWise intends to build multiple strategic technology relationships that address SOAR (security orchestration, automation and remediation). The idea is to integrate a range of third-party security tools with ConnectWise Manage and ConnectWise Automate. Many of those tools were on display at IT Nation. And many new ConnectWise partnerships in that area are still emerging.
ConnectWise Rivals and Next Cybersecurity Moves
Of course, ConnectWise's key rivals also are making cybersecurity moves. Two examples to note:
- Continuum CEO Michael George has bet his business on a portfolio of managed security services designed for MSPs. Numerous talent hires, a tuck-in CARVIR acquisition, plus relationships with SentinelOne and EventTracker essentially transformed Continuum into a master MSSP with SOC services that MSPs can leverage. Plus, the company has already built a cybersecurity business guide for MSPs to leverage.
- SolarWinds MSP, in stark contrast, isn’t trying to become a SOC provider or MSSP. Instead, the company acquired Trusted Metrics — and now owns SOC and threat monitoring software technology. Armed with that software, SolarWinds is now training a handful of MSSPs as threat monitoring service providers. Over time, SolarWinds will call on its smaller MSP partners to potentially partner with those larger, more established MSSPs.
We'll share more details about the ConnectWise cybersecurity technology partnership ecosystem, and Bellini's commitment to drive down associated pricing for MSPs, in an upcoming blog that recaps additional moves at IT Nation Connect 2018.