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Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.
Anurag Agrawal

Navigating the Perfect Storm: The struggle of MSPs and IT suppliers in SMB technology adoption

SMBs are increasingly dependent on information technology. Techaisle SMB (1-999 employees) survey found that 78% of small (1-99 employees) businesses and 97% of midmarket (100-999 employees) businesses consider technology to be “somewhat” or “very important” to their success, and 28% of small and 43% of midmarket firms report that they have become more dependent on technology over the past 12 months. These SMBs deal with an ever-expanding portfolio of increasingly-complex applications and platform technologies. At the same time, these firms are struggling to rein in IT-related expenditures, including staff-related costs. This combination of increased reliance on technology as a critical element of business success, burgeoning complexity, and cost constraint has created a ‘perfect storm’ for using managed services.

Building an effective managed services channel is a long and complex undertaking. On the positive side, many channel members participate in managed service delivery today, and longer-term trends indicate that a sizable proportion of the channel community will develop managed services specializations. There is also compelling evidence that buyers need and value managed services and that this need has been growing over the past five years and will continue to increase. However, the data also shows that channel firms need help transitioning from delivering some managed services to building viable businesses on a managed services model. To be successful, vendors will need to set objectives spanning the three-year period over which the managed services specialization will emerge and invest in the tactics (and execution excellence) required to support partners through this period.

Anurag Agrawal

MSPs and the Cloud: A Successful Partnership or Not

Techaisle’s survey of 2115 partners shows that while many VARs offer managed services to their customers, only a small percentage successfully achieve consistent growth and profitability. In contrast, MSPs have been more successful in their managed services business model and have also begun to achieve success in the cloud. MSPs are well aligned with the business requirements associated with cloud sales. They can act as a logical extension to partner activities by providing discrete services that can be delivered efficiently. However, unique business requirements and partnering practices associated with cloud suppliers have proved challenging for MSPs.

Techaisle data shows that 65% of VARs offer managed services to their customers. Still, only 50%, less than one-third of all VARs, successfully achieve consistent growth and profitability within managed services. The data is similar to 2018. Conversely, 71% of MSPs have succeeded in their managed services business model, and 29% are still striving to achieve profitability and success. Unlike the last several years, MSPs have begun to achieve success in the cloud. 89% of MSPs currently offer cloud, and 72% have achieved cloud success. It is two-thirds of all MSPs, up from less than half in 2018.

Anurag Agrawal

OpenText - A Cybersecurity Powerhouse Built on Strategic Acquisitions

OpenText's transformation from a Canadian document management company to one of the world's leading software providers is nothing short of remarkable. The driving force behind its growth has been a focus on cloud-based solutions, which led the company to go on an acquisition spree, bringing several specialized companies/brands under its umbrella. Cybersecurity is one arena where OpenText has taken a deliberate approach over the last decade with multi-billion dollars of capital investment to bring together critical purpose-built solutions to provide holistic coverage to its customers.

The company’s acquisition of data protection provider Carbonite (ninth cloud-specific acquisition overall) and endpoint/threat intelligence software provider Webroot marked a significant milestone in its quest to create a single, unified, and robust security portfolio.

With the Carbonite and Webroot acquisitions, OpenText became a go-to option for managed service providers (MSPs) and small and medium businesses (SMBs) seeking a one-stop shop for security and data protection, filling a void in the market with its broad portfolio. Experts have opined on OpenText’s offerings: “It's one vendor, one brand, one program, one partner strategy, one go-to-market, so small customers and partners don't need to work with multiple vendors. OpenText Cybersecurity can provide all of it."

However, this was just the beginning. OpenText's subsequent acquisitions of email encryption software provider Zix, security software provider AppRiver, Network Detection and Response provider Bricata, and enterprise software provider Micro Focus further strengthened its position in cybersecurity. The approach to consolidate all security and data protection services in a single platform – serving as the foundation to deploy the right capabilities and manage and administer their environment has made things easier for customers of all sizes. In addition, OpenText's comprehensive portfolio provides a robust and reliable option for businesses seeking to enhance their cyber resiliency. In the following sections, we will explore OpenText's trajectory to becoming one of the leaders in the cybersecurity domain.

opentext acquisitions 1

Anurag Agrawal

Zero Trust Architecture on the Rise in Midmarket and SMBs

It is the best of places; it is the worst of places. The famous opening line echoed from the Dickens masterpiece “A Tale of Two Cities” describes a period in which opposites – wisdom and foolishness, light and darkness, hope and despair – exist side by side. The events and depths of emotion described in the novel are much more extreme than the scenarios cloud and overall IT adoption presents to businesses. But the notion that there are opposing elements of opportunity and requirement associated with the cloud would ring true to SMB and midmarket executives, who need to balance the new business outcomes that they can achieve via cost-effective cloud/IT solutions with the need to safeguard users, data, and applications from malicious intruders. The upside is competitiveness in a fast-moving economy; the downside is destroying customer relationships and corporate reputations at the core of business success. Where is the safe middle ground – the approach that results in optimal business protection and access to the upside associated with cloud/IT solutions?

The market is buzzing with discussions on zero trust (ZT). A Techaisle survey of 2035 SMBs and Midmarket firms shows that 8% of small businesses, 46% of core-midmarket firms, and 69% of upper midmarket firms know of ZT and that 21% of SMBs and 64% of midmarket firms consider its adoption either very important or important. Critical reasons for adopting zero trust include reducing insider threats, breach prevention, compliance, mitigating endpoint threats, and managing hybrid IT and remote work security issues.

However, most firms need to be made aware that ZT is not a product but a framework that requires a focus on the journey and strategy. Regardless, 14% of “in the know” SMBs and 35% of upper midmarket firms have begun planning their investments in ZT technology, initially focusing on identifying their critical digital assets and security vulnerabilities.

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