Originally published in MSP Today
Digital transformation has helped revolutionize a variety of industries, with innovative technologies shifting the way enterprises go about daily processes and tasks. Among the sectors that have been greatly impacted by the beginning of the digital age, one of the most prominent is the managed service provider (MSP) industry.
Today, MSPs are IT services companies that manage the IT infrastructure and IT processes for clients, with the infrastructure managed ranging from user devices and computers to firewalls, routers, switches, active directory, exchange servers, active directory servers, data servers, communications solutions, and more. However, MSPs weren’t always the digital jack of all trades they are today, as at the beginning of managed IT services, providers were little more than glorified hardware and software vendors.
Originally, MSPs would spend huge sums of money developing custom tools, data centers, and command/control centers to deliver services. While they were effective in the delivery of discrete managed services, these providers required broad sales and marketing efforts to capture accounts, recoup investments and drive down costs.
As the world became more digital, and connected devices and applications took over the world of business, MSPs were forced to evolve right alongside. To keep up with customer expectations, MSPs had to become IT experts across all functional areas, such as a trial, installation, training, management, support, maintenance, and upgrades.
“Some MSPs feared the cloud would erode their revenue and make their businesses obsolete, so unsurprisingly, the cloud was initially slow to catch on among service providers,” said Ben McGahon, founder and CEO of Kalibr8, a cloud optimization platform that was recently selected by Cloud Ready, a strategic MSP in Australia, serving the Pacific Region.
In reality, the opposite happened. According to Forbes, with cloud technology, ongoing IT support is reduced by 55%, and ROI is more than four times greater than on-premises technology. Additionally, cloud technology deploys quickly, is easily configured, and is simple to manage, which made the solutions desirable for MSPs to add to their offerings when the technology was originally on the rise.
“Once the advantages of cloud computing were realized, the technology was quickly adopted and leveraged, as some MSPs began to truly reap the benefits,” McGahon said. “For example, unlike on-premise MSPs that rely on physical servers, Cloud MSPs have access to highly scalable virtual infrastructure. Also, cloud storage is highly secure, and data encrypted in the cloud cannot be compromised easily. As a result of the provisioned infrastructure, MSPs can provide the same capabilities to customers. It’s all good until it becomes surprisingly expensive.”
Cloud Ready, a cloud-first technology distributor serving MSP customers in New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria, Australia, as well as New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, agrees. Cloud Ready will ensure that the Kalibr8 platform will be deployed and supported professionally, with proven expert pre- and post-sale advice, assistance with commercial terms, and complete partner services and support for the IT channel across the Pacific region.
“The adoption of cloud is skyrocketing across the regions we serve, and being able to offer not just cloud services but the best value for cloud services is tremendously valuable to our business and, by extension, service providers and the organizations that trust them to ensure the best technologies are available to them at the best prices,” said Kelly von der Heyden, Sales Director, Cloud Ready.
Designed for Managed Service Providers and sold only through channels, Kalibr8’s Optimizer Loop platform today securely manages Microsoft Azure assets with a goal to continually improve the economics and ROI of cloud consumption.
Kalibr8 will be releasing AWS support before the end of the year, with Google Cloud coming early next year, all of which will be available under a single pane of glass. Other roadmap items include fraud detection and alerting, power consumption tracking, alerting, and analytics to help MSPs lower their customers’ costs.
Kalibr8 is continually assessing Microsoft Azure cloud services and releasing further capabilities to manage customer environments to a more granular level. Kalibr8 aims by Q1 of 2023 to integrate Azure, AWS, and GCP accessible and managed within a unified environment, orchestrating all data into a “single pane of glass” view and experience.
Kalibr8 recently emerged out of development mode into general availability of their highly automated solution, which enables service providers and their customers to optimize their investments in cloud services through an advanced, unified portal that works across Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud. Designed from the ground up for MSPs, Kalibr8’s operations, analytics, and reporting features can be configured to any service provider’s specific needs.
Kalibr8’s platform has a commercial model that is straightforward, based on delivery analytics, with a “Pay as you Optimize” model. The solution also includes no blanket percent of subscription, cumbersome resources, and instance- or subscription-based pricing that requires constant monitoring to ensure underlying costs stay with predefined product categories.
With a well-designed user experience through a web-based portal, the model also allows MSP to easily onboard as many customers as they wish, with streamlined onboarding, a “pay only for what you use” approach, with clearly defined benefits showing precisely how much is being spent on cloud consumption and where the spend can be reduced in near real-time.
The Optimizer Loop runs continually and with no human intervention necessary when each instance is defined, with policies set and notifications and alerts that drive greater productivity for MSPs who no longer need to worry about conducting manual analyses.
“We are forever grateful for the support of the team at Cloud Ready, for their insights during the nearly two-year development process,” said founder and CEO of Kalibr8, Ben McGahon. “It is only by listening to the essential cloud distributors and service providers that any company can truly understand what the end customers need, and in this case, we confirmed that Cloud Confidence was lacking across the digital supply chain. Organizations cannot manage what they cannot measure, and now with this next level of instrumentation and automation, there is transparency on pricing, recommendations for expense reduction, and valuable tools that make it possible to forecast and calibrate cloud investments over time.”
With growth expected to continue for some time in the space, MSPs are now looking to enhance their cloud offerings. The improvements are necessary in order to stick out in a crowded MSP environment speedily being populated by cloud solutions.