Shovels for the IT Managed Services Market

Looking for: Advisor, Biz developer, Developer, Engineer, Product manager
The only sure way to get rich in a gold rush is to be the person selling the shovels. I want to take that mindset to the IT Managed Services market. Current Managed Service Providers (MSP) match their customers with solutions to fit their needs, but these solutions are marketed towards the enterprise or SMB community. These solutions meet the services aspect but are not designed to support centralized management of multiple customers by one provider. My goal is to build a company that provides the solutions that the SMB market needs while providing value to the MSPs that support them. By building solutions that directly benefit MSPs a channel sales strategy that relies exclusively on partner sales to get products to the SMB community can be highly successful.

Just a few of the products/solutions I have in mind -

OneBox - An overpowered NAS that can provide additional services a small business might need like DHCP, DNS, VPN, routing, backups, file sharing etc. Integrate reporting and alerts directly to a centralized portal for all OneBox devices managed by the MSP. Charge subscription fees for premium features like backup, offsite backup and VPN.

LogBoat - Aggregate logs from multiple devices and services running at the SMB, securely send them to the MSP with automating alerting and dashboards.

SpareParts - Hardware redundancy for a virtual server environment is expensive for a business that might only need four virtual machines. True redundancy requires two physical servers, two switches and a SAN. SpareParts would enable running a virtual environment on a SpareParts server that can be hot swapped with another delivered by the MSP by loading a sync'd copy on the spare. MSP would get to enjoy both the initial capital from hardware sale as well as recurring revenue for the spare replacement and sync service. The small business would avoid the cost of additional hardware and licensing.

Additional Info

  • Time commitment: half time (20h/week)
  • Idea stage: just an idea