Welcome to a new IT channel site, and a new term: Total Services Provider. But what exactly is a TSP -- especially compared to managed services providers (MSPs), value-added resellers (VARs) and cloud services providers (CSPs)?
And why is the TSP wave so darn important? Glad you asked.
- VARs provide IT consulting and integration services. They piece together IT products into solutions. They may also dabble a bit in managed and cloud services.
- MSPs remotely monitor, manage and optimize customer systems -- both on-premises and in the cloud. They may also dabble in some value-added reselling and consulting.
- True CSPs typically own their cloud infrastructure. Names like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and IBM SoftLayer come to mind. VARs recommend and/or resell those services to customers. MSPs may even manage those services for customers.
Now, along comes the TSP -- a total service provider. Loosely translated, that's an IT service provider that does it all. As you may have guessed, a TSP pieces together every IT component and service for the customer, and has the capability to manage it all. TSPs essentially blend the best of VARs and MSPs -- while managing cloud services like Amazon, Azure, etc., for the end customer. And don't forget about a healthy dose of professional services as well.
Where's the proof? The best-performing MSPs generate about 28 percent of their revenues from product resale and value-added services, according to Paul Dippell, CEO of Service Leadership Inc., a leading benchmarketing organization that aggregates IT service provider data.
Hats off to TekLinks leaders like:
- David Powell (@davidpowellbham), VP of managed and cloud services, marketing; and
- Terry Miller, VP of managed and cloud services, engineering.
Both TekLinks executives play key roles within an IT services provider that does it all -- or comes awfully close to doing it all -- for demanding customers.
Another example involves Kevin Crowe, VP of procurement services at Long View Systems. Perhaps better known for its managed and cloud services -- which Crowe previously led -- the company also helps businesses to buy and consume on-premises solutions.
Market watchers like Service Leadership Inc. and HTG Peer Groups often talk about blended IT services models -- and the value of that mixed revenue approach. We intend to help drive that conversation forward -- especially as IT service providers navigate the five stages of business.
The big question: How can we all spot, celebrate and document additional TSPs -- and their secrets to success? We'll be sharing more answers in the days ahead.