Andy Monshaw PhotoIBM has recruited more than 1,200 managed services providers (MSPs) to the IBM Partner Network, of which more than 800 MSPs are new to IBM engagements. Those stats, from Mid-Market GM Andy Monshaw, set the stage for some big moves this fall.

Monshaw reiterated what he told Jessica Davis back in June: 10o-plus new MSPs are joining IBM's partner program each month. Eager to build on that momentum, it sounds like IBM will make some formalized MSP moves in September while briefing analysts in October.

"We are driving to be held up as the model of a large company, that is totally collaborative with the MSP community," Monshaw wrote in an email conversation with me.

A growing number of hardware and software companies are focusing their MSP efforts on the mid-market. A few examples:
  • CA Technologies has at least two business units focused on mid-market MSPs, including Nimsoft (remote monitoring and management) and AppLogic (SaaS platform automation).
  • Dell Services, backed by the Perot Systems buyout from a few years ago, is expected to aggressively raise its voice with mid-market managed services.
  • NetEnrich has expanded beyond NOC (network operations center) services and is now winning total IT management and outsourcing deals with larger channel partners, including mid-size MSPs and VARs.
  • SolarWinds has been working with midsize and large data center providers, including those that offer managed services and managed hosting.
Still, mid-market managed services can be difficult to define. Some MSPs will wind up competing against large IT vendors and hardware providers. Others will have a difficult time scaling their SMB mindset into the mid-market. But IBM, for its part, claims to be uncovering mid-market MSPs at the rate of 100 per month.

MSPmentor hopes to put some names and faces to those numbers this fall during IBM's MSP gatherings...