Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Mehdi Daoudi, Liz McMillan, Flint Brenton

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Industrial IoT, Adobe Flex

Microservices Expo: Article

Great Solutions for Big Problems…

IT Managed Services may be visible and tangible

Managed Services Providers face a variety of challenges. They struggle trying to sell an intangible and invisible service. Quoting Harry Beckwith, author of the book “Selling the Invisible”: ‘You can’t see them – so how do you sell them? That’s the problem with services.’  However some services can be transformed into something tangible, PR services can be touched and sensed in the publications for instance, telephone services are sensed when making a call; but the IT managed services are never sensed, these services just are there. The computer works, the antivirus is updated, the printer prints, they are supposed to do so, isn’t it? It is their purpose. But behind all this normally expected performance are the IT Managed Services, intangible and invisible to users, but a key activity for the devices’ deploy and performance.

IT Managed Services are turning into an important trend for this year and the coming ones; hence bringing the own mobile devices to work is becoming a norm; according to Gartner, in 2015 a 50% of the mobile devices will be employees self tablets. Companies’ information will be flowing freely through Big Data and Cloud Computing technologies in these personal devices. The question is; how can all these information be secured and controlled?

The IT infrastructure’s remote monitoring and managing then becomes a highly productive opportunity for the Managed Services Providers –MSP-, either giving pure managed services or providing technical support if IT also are solutions providers; these activities may help these companies to become important players helping their clients to address their business goals.

Insight Research predicts the managed services market growth from USD $29 billion in 2010 to USD $47 billion in 2015, with an approximate 15% annual growth. This scenery seems to be a very good business opportunity for Managed Services Providers (MSP).

In a study performed by Forrester with 208 IT executives 36% consider the mobile applications for tablets and smartphones as important change factor, 32% consider mobile applications deliver worth to business. All of them consider all these devices need to be managed, controlled, and secured.

However, the IT managed services and remote monitoring are invisible and intangible; the challenge is convincing managers about their worth, these activities are in the lowest part of the network, it is not a software that executives use to be more productive, not an add-on to their devices; it is a constant monitoring service performed by another company. According to Fernando Tejeda, Founder and Managing Director of Consulta ITS, a well known MSP in Mexico, it’s in this moment when a hundred questions and doubts arise on the prospect side. What about my information and devices? Will you have direct access to all of them? What about the security? How do I know that your staff is doing their job? How do I know that the monitoring is really continuous and effective? IT Managers concerns go from being substituted to lose their infrastructures control. Directors become unsure, they can’t see or touch what they are paying for, they experience it every day in an indirect way; yes that’s an issue, results are indirectly appreciated in the tangibles – devices- therefore the ROI becomes hard to measure.

Facing all these challenges, require big solutions; building an effective marketing and direct sales strategy to support all the prospects’ questions and fears when offering IT Managed Services.

According to Jason Magee, Global Channel Director in a highly recognized remote monitoring (RMM) software solution firm -LabTech Software- IT Managed Services Providers also delivering IT Solutions have three interesting business opportunities: 1. Using the arsenal of remote monitoring tools in a help desk to give technical support and services to their IT solutions clients; 2. Providing complete sets of managed services to companies helping them to control their technological infrastructure, including all the hardware and software; 3. Reselling the software licenses to the large corporations trying to manage their own networks.

These three options presented by LabTech Software represent very interesting opportunities that may report a fast return of investment. But two of them are intangibles and invisible; the challenge is how to market them?

Selling the Intangible and Invisible
Taking IT managed services to the market effectively may need to main initiatives:
-    Build up your IT managed services levels and brand giving a sense of tangibility to clients, and
-    Generate quality leads

Yes, make your IT managed services tangible, give them a brand; make them stand out from the ones offered by your competitors. Your objective is to give them a – name+image – and a description that your prospects can easily relate with you and to the solution to their specific challenges, making your clients sense them into their daily business activities and financial results. However, never allow your IT Managed Services to become a generic; or else you will be promoting your services and your competitor’s as well.

To give the correct brand to your services; be aware of the analyst predictions and market trends. Perform a survey to know your prospects strongest challenges in this area. Remember that the bigger the obstacle you go over, the bigger your reward will be. Ask them the correct questions  including the business performance related ones in order to make them see the impact of the remote devices monitoring and managing in their daily activities; adopting IT Managed Services may not represent a need for them, but solving mayor problems in their daily business activities and profit may be all to them!
Use these survey results to define your services and their levels, take on account your prospects sample needs, challenges, size, as well as the kind and amount of devices in their companies. Write down a detailed description of each service level and profile. Now that you have all the information and foundation to create a brand; take a marketing professional service, an expert that will help you to transform your information into a brand and accurate messages that will attract your prospects. This way you will be giving great definite solutions to each company unique great problems; something that executives can hardly resist.

Next step is to generate quality leads. “Nothing endures but change” stated Heraclitus. And changes become priceless when they solve big problems. Once again, same as you did in your survey, when qualifying prospects ask them the correct questions as a key activity.

Let’s see an example; in early 2010, NII Holdings, a leading provider of mobile telecommunications services in Latin America decided to use IT Managed Services to standardize their processes and enhance the customer satisfaction through a higher voice, and data services quality. The CTO in the company stated that given the opportunities to deliver profitable growth, including their plans to deploy 3G capabilities, the IT managed services’ experience enhanced their IT infrastructure efficiency and flexibility.

If you interview CIOs about the technological mayor challenges they have regarding their IT infrastructure performance from a business perspective, it is very suitable that you would obtain interesting clues to give great solutions to their big problems, so take the place of the expert and provide the solutions using your managed services features and messaging! Mobile devices, for instance, represent a challenge to the IT management in most companies; so give a solution using your complete arsenal of remote monitoring tools, turning them into a complete IT infrastructure managing and control service.
Remember, the bigger the challenge is, the bigger the reward becomes; change means nothing if it does not give a solution to big problems; and listen carefully to be able to make the correct questions. Controlling IT infrastructures is a trend, and you as a Managed Service Provider – MSP - may get a key role in this activity of course with very interesting profit.

More Stories By Monica Paul

Monica Paul is a marketer with 20 years experience in local, regional, and global marketing strategies. In 2001, after eight years working as an employee for several IT companies such as Micrografx and Visio; Monica founded Marcomtec, a division of Magic Masterminds LLC, a marketing firm providing strategy and content services, as well as marketing campaigns in English and Spanish. In 2013 Monica launched Magic MasterMinds (www.magicmasterminds.com), a publishing platform to help writers all over the world to publish and market their books.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Today companies are looking to achieve cloud-first digital agility to reduce time-to-market, optimize utilization of resources, and rapidly deliver disruptive business solutions. However, leveraging the benefits of cloud deployments can be complicated for companies with extensive legacy computing environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, founder and CEO of Metavine, will outline the challenges enterprises face in migrating legacy solutions to the cloud. He will also prese...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
‘Trend’ is a pretty common business term, but its definition tends to vary by industry. In performance monitoring, trend, or trend shift, is a key metric that is used to indicate change. Change is inevitable. Today’s websites must frequently update and change to keep up with competition and attract new users, but such changes can have a negative impact on the user experience if not managed properly. The dynamic nature of the Internet makes it necessary to constantly monitor different metrics. O...
With the rise of DevOps, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in Enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery for the business. When it comes to adopting containers in the enterprise, security is the highest adoption barrier. Is your organization ready to address the security risks with containers for your DevOps environment? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Van Tuin, Chief Technologist, NA West at Red Hat, will discuss: The top security r...
Enterprises are moving to the cloud faster than most of us in security expected. CIOs are going from 0 to 100 in cloud adoption and leaving security teams in the dust. Once cloud is part of an enterprise stack, it’s unclear who has responsibility for the protection of applications, services, and data. When cloud breaches occur, whether active compromise or a publicly accessible database, the blame must fall on both service providers and users. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben Johnson, C...
The last two years has seen discussions about cloud computing evolve from the public / private / hybrid split to the reality that most enterprises will be creating a complex, multi-cloud strategy. Companies are wary of committing all of their resources to a single cloud, and instead are choosing to spread the risk – and the benefits – of cloud computing across multiple providers and internal infrastructures, as they follow their business needs. Will this approach be successful? How large is the ...
Many organizations adopt DevOps to reduce cycle times and deliver software faster; some take on DevOps to drive higher quality and better end-user experience; others look to DevOps for a clearer line-of-sight to customers to drive better business impacts. In truth, these three foundations go together. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 21st Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, industry experts will discuss how leading organizations build application success from all...
Most of the time there is a lot of work involved to move to the cloud, and most of that isn't really related to AWS or Azure or Google Cloud. Before we talk about public cloud vendors and DevOps tools, there are usually several technical and non-technical challenges that are connected to it and that every company needs to solve to move to the cloud. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Stefano Bellasio, CEO and founder of Cloud Academy Inc., will discuss what the tools, disciplines, and cultural...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
The nature of the technology business is forward-thinking. It focuses on the future and what’s coming next. Innovations and creativity in our world of software development strive to improve the status quo and increase customer satisfaction through speed and increased connectivity. Yet, while it's exciting to see enterprises embrace new ways of thinking and advance their processes with cutting edge technology, it rarely happens rapidly or even simultaneously across all industries.
These days, APIs have become an integral part of the digital transformation journey for all enterprises. Every digital innovation story is connected to APIs . But have you ever pondered over to know what are the source of these APIs? Let me explain - APIs sources can be varied, internal or external, solving different purposes, but mostly categorized into the following two categories. Data lakes is a term used to represent disconnected but relevant data that are used by various business units wit...
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lav...
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
One of the biggest challenges with adopting a DevOps mentality is: new applications are easily adapted to cloud-native, microservice-based, or containerized architectures - they can be built for them - but old applications need complex refactoring. On the other hand, these new technologies can require relearning or adapting new, oftentimes more complex, methodologies and tools to be ready for production. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, Solutions Marketi...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP, was first introduced by Tim Berners-Lee in 1991. The initial version HTTP/0.9 was designed to facilitate data transfers between a client and server. The protocol works on a request-response model over a TCP connection, but it’s evolved over the years to include several improvements and advanced features. The latest version is HTTP/2, which has introduced major advancements that prioritize webpage performance and speed.