One of the large talking (or selling) points during the conference as a whole was big data, but more importantly, what MSPs should do with data once it has been gathered, emphasizing analytics, along with others areas: cloud, mobile, and social business. Each session, whether it was general or private, directed the conversation to these four talking points. The panel wasn't any different.
Among the key points I heard:
Phil Simon, Author of The Age of the Platform
- Very few organizations are doing anything with big data.
- Having the most data does not necessarily mean that you're going to win. Being able to transform that data into something larger is the key to success.
- MSPs are facing commoditization of basic services.
- More MSPs are asking for speed to revenue.
- MSPs are constantly asking how they can create higher value.
- Clients have a lot of unstructured data. They are looking for a partner to organize that data. They understand that they have a lot of data, and they want to know how they can do this effectively in a cost effective manner.
- Choosing a vendor is more like choosing a partner with a cohesive solution.
- "Our clients are asking for more flexibility. They’re looking for a shorter time to implementation and a shorter time on value. We are looking for a vendor that can help us apply those goals."
- We need to be proactive about industry trends and where our business needs to go within 5 years.
- MSPs are seeking to mature as businesses, offering higher-value solutions and services to their clientele.
- MSPs cannot mature as businesses on their own without the help of sophisticated, proven technology partners. Weaver pointed to IBM as an example of just such a partner.
- MSPs and cloud have proliferated.
- Weavers' closing comment was a fitting one: "Support your local MSP," he said, while pointing to fellow panelist Braun.