Andy Monshaw, general manager of IBM's global and medium sized business, described IBM's accelerating MSP strategy to MSPmentor in October. I think it's safe to expect more definitive news in the next few months. But in the meantime, the IBM MSP landing page offers deeper insights on IBM's views.
The landing page states:
IBM understands the challenges faced by managed service providers (MSPs): achieving targets set out in Service Level agreements and managing costs. And we can help. Let us show you how to build and better manage your IT infrastructure, and expand your portfolio to capture new solution opportunities."Teaming with IBM, the page states, means access to top solutions, ISV partners, training, technical support and co-marketing programs. The site also promotes IBM Tivoli Security solutions, hosted and cloud storage options, and cloud infrastructure strategies.
A growing number of large IT companies have been reaching out to the MSP community in recent months. Hewlett-Packard has worked closely with Axcient to train MSPs on cloud and managed storage; Cisco Systems is working closely with HTG Peer Groups to prepare the Cisco OnPlus Service for MSPs; Oracle touts its new Enterprise Manager 12c for MSPs; Symantec recently confirmed its MSP strategy; and Microsoft is promoting Windows Intune as a remote PC management platform for Windows devices.
Still, many big vendors are still learning how to dance with small MSPs, which typically require service provider licensing models, new approaches to service level agreements (SLAs) and integration capabilities across remote monitoring and business management software.