Are North America Channel Partners Getting in the Cloud?

North America

I’ve been thinking of writing this blog now for a while, but wondering: “Am I going to ruffle any feathers?” Well, maybe I’m in the feather ruffling mood today.

What continues to amaze me is the dramatic difference in ITSP channel partners (VARs, MSPs, Sis) inside North America (NA) versus outside. It seems to me that many ITSPs outside NA—especially in the UK, Scandinavia, South Africa and Australia—are embracing cloud and adjusting their business model. Whereas ITSPs inside NA aren’t. I see it every day working with ITSPs around the world. The ITSPs outside NA are more eager to build their cloud business, and are willing to put in the hard work to do so. But the ITSPs inside NA are more hesitant and skeptical. Why is this you ask? Here’s my two cents

To understand the difference, you need to look at how the IT world started and grew. From day one, virtually all NA based tech vendors started their business selling directly in NA and “eventually” added ITSPs to supplement their growth and provide services to clients. But, by and large, the tech vendor was mainly direct-sales focused. On the other hand, outside NA the tech vendor would put a guy like me on a plane to anywhere outside NA and say, “don’t come back without signed partner agreements.” So, off I would go, finding, recruiting, signing and ramping partners—like a franchise model where I was the franchisor and the partner was the franchisee.

I would then go back every 90 days or so to provide training, visits clients, review their pipeline, get them drunk, beat them up a bit, and say “I’ll be back in a few months.” What the outside NA partner needed to do was be self-sufficient and build a business on their own—and they did! They had no choice! I did the exact same thing providing RMM platforms to help VARs become MSPs and the partners outside NA made that shift much faster.

I’m now seeing MSPs outside NA making the shift to cloud. Why? Because they accept that they need to evolve and they’ve made the shift before.

But, stop the presses! I thought I’d pass along a little video of an NA-based MSP that is fully embracing cloud and becoming a Modern MSP. I call them a “one-percenter” inside NA. Full disclosure they are a CSBexcellence client.

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Todd Hussey
Todd Hussey is a 20 year tech-startup veteran specializing in the Managed Services Provider and Cloud Solutions Provider businesses. His success includes two IPOs and five acquisitions, growing these businesses from $0-100m+ in 30+ countries. Today, he provides a cloud business readiness SaaS platform and builds content and services for cloud/MSP tech vendors to dramatically improve their channel partner business.