Dozens of technology companies design and promote cloud services, software and hardware for MSPs. But which technology companies have empowered MSPs to succeed in vertical markets such as healthcare, financial services, legal, manufacturing, government and more?
ChannelE2E posed that very question in our most recent Top 100 Vertical Market MSPs survey, completed in January 2020. We asked MSPs the following open-ended question:
"Which three IT vendors (hardware, software, services or cloud company) or distributors have most greatly assisted your vertical market success?"
Note: The question was open-ended. We did not provide a list of technology vendors from which to choose. MSP survey participants named more than 55 different vendors. But here are the 10 technology companies mentioned most frequently, along with some ChannelE2E context about their MSP-focused solutions and partner programs.
10. SolarWinds MSP (6 percent): SolarWinds is perhaps best known in MSP circles for the software company's two RMM (remote monitoring and management) software tools -- SolarWinds RMM and SolarWinds N-central. But through R&D and acquisitions, the company also now offers backup, disaster recovery, threat detection and prevention, password management and other software platforms. SolarWinds CEO Kevin Thompson frequently discusses the company's MSP growth strategy during earnings calls. Names to Know: SolarWinds MSP President John Pagliuca and Head of Community Engagement Colin Knox.
9. HP Inc. (7 percent): Despite the shift to cloud and recurring revenue services, customers still need desktop PCs, notebooks, printers and other hardware to drive productivity. Our survey closed before the coronavirus pandemic -- which drove a major wave of PC, notebook and printer purchases for the Work From Home wave -- so we suspect partners have been even more hardware-focused in recent months. Key areas of focus, no doubt, involve the HP Device as a Service (DaaS) program. Name to Know: Scott Lannum, VP and GM, North America Channels, HP Inc.
8. Pax8 (8 percent): Pax8 is a cloud distributor that modernizes how partners buy, sell and manage cloud services. Revenue surged to $42.4 million in 2018 -- a three-year growth rate of 4,820 percent, according to the Inc. 5000 list for 2019. Pax8's platform allows MSPs to provision security, data protection, productivity and other solutions from a single dashboard. Partners gain consolidated billing, and integrations with such PSA tools as ConnectWise Manage, Datto Autotask, Kaseya BMS, Syncro and Tigerpaw. Names to Know: Pax8 CEO John Street and Chief Channel Officer Ryan Walsh.
7. Amazon Web Services - AWS (8 percent): The AWS Managed Service Provider partner program empowers MSPs to (1) plan & design, (2) build & migrate, (3) run & operate, and (4) optimize AWS cloud services. Check ChannelE2E's list of the world's Top 200 Public Cloud MSPs, and you'll find dozens of AWS partners listed. Names to Know: AWS CEO Andy Jassy and Head of Worldwide Channels and Alliances Doug Yeum.
6. Ingram Micro (11 percent): Within the IT distribution market, Ingram Micro was a first-mover toward empowering MSPs. The company's formal MSP efforts started as far back as 2008 or so. The journey largely transformed into the Ingram Micro Cloud service roughly a decade ago -- and that business has maintained strong growth in recent years. Fast forward to the coronavirus pandemic, and Ingram Micro stepped up with special financing programs to help MSPs and VARs navigate financial turbulence in the market. Names to Know: EVP Global Cloud Nimesh Davé; and VP Advanced Solutions, Networking and Security Business Unit Eric Kohl.
5. ConnectWise (11 percent): ConnectWise, backed by private equity firm Thoma Bravo, offers a range of business management and automation tools for MSPs and technology solutions providers. Moreover, the IT Nation community allows MSPs to learn and share best practices that maximize profitability. The company acquired Continuum in late 2019 -- providing new MSP opportunities for managed help desk, NOC and SOC services. But there are also some product overlaps involving remote monitoring and cybersecurity. Names to Know: CEO Jason Magee, Chief Customer Officer Craig Fulton and VP Ecosystem Strategy Arlin Sorensen.
4. Datto (19 percent): Datto, backed by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, has successfully expanded from data protection, backup and disaster recovery (BDR) services into business management and MSP automation tools such as PSA and RMM. The company also offers a line of cloud-managed networking hardware specifically designed for MSPs. Dig a little deeper, and you'll find that Datto has bet its entire business on MSP-delivered technology solutions. Still, we'll be curious to see if or how Datto is evolving its on-premises storage and network gear for the Work From Home (WFH) and Work From Anywhere (WFA) trends. Names to Know: CEO Tim Weller, CRO Sanjay Singh, SVP Business Development Rob Rae & CISO Ryan Weeks.
3. Cisco Systems (21 percent): Cisco Systems spent 2010 through 2015 or so focused on enterprise partners. But over the past five years or so, Cisco has successfully extended its MSP partner focus down into the midmarket and SMB sectors. The effort blends organic R&D coupled with successful acquisitions such as Duo and OpenDNS, among many others. The result: In addition to networking hardware, Cisco now has multiple SaaS solutions designed specifically for MSPs and the end-customers they support. Names to Know: SVP Oliver Tuszik, SVP and Ruba Borno and Partner Managed Services GTM Lead Marc Inderhees.
2. Dell Technologies (22 percent): The direct sales giant has successfully changed its stripes within many corners of the IT channel. Plus, rivals in recent years left the door open for Dell to work more closely with SMB partners. Indeed, some hardware rivals broke up (HP Inc. and HPE) or largely exited the SMB hardware market (IBM). Dell, meanwhile, expanded from its server and PC expertise into storage and hybrid cloud solutions, while also working more closely with such acquired software assets as VMware. The result? Dell has one of the largest, most complete technology portfolios for MSPs focused on infrastructure. Names to Know: Joyce Mullen, president, global channel, embedded & edge solutions; Gregg Ambulos, senior VP, North America channel sales.
1. Microsoft (56 percent): No doubt, MSPs played a big role in customer migrations from on-premises applications to Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365). Now that trend is repeating itself as MSPs increasingly embrace, recommend and support Azure cloud services. The Microsoft Azure Expert MSP designation is now sweeping across the MSP sector. Dozens of the world's Top 200 Public Cloud MSPs now carry the moniker. And key partners such as Nerdio and multiple distributors are making it easier for MSPs to monetize and manage Azure. Name to Know: Gavriella Schuster, corporate VP, One Commercial Partner.