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Resellers must evolve into MSPs or risk dying in wake of IoT

The future is looking bright for resellers who are transforming into managed services providers, with Internet of Things creating a big opportunity for them.

That’s the view of  Michael McKinnon, AVG security awareness director, who says the online security company is keen to see its resellers make the transition to becoming managed service providers – and sooner, rather than later.

“One of the things we’re keen to do is see the progression of a lot of our channel partners as they grow their businesses and progress from being these resellers through to cloud enablers  and cloud partners and into the managed service provider space,” McKinnon says.

“The thing that disappoints me personally is that we are seeing a lot of channel partners that are reluctant to make the shift,” he adds. “Our concern is that they are going to put themselves out of business if they don’t make that shift.”

McKinnon says IoT is creating major challenges for partners, who are struggling to manage a large volume of devices and equipment for customers.

“As businesses bring on more devices connecting to the network, suddently there is this problem of scale.

“How do you manage all the devices an employee may be carrying – tablet, mobile device, laptop – and then suddenly there are all these other things plugging into the network as well.”

McKinnon says he’s seeing CCTV camera systems, coffee machines, elevators, escalators, environmental control systems and lighting systems, among others, plugging into networks.

“There are just so many things plugging into networks these days. So this becomes a real concern.

“The more devices you have, the more points of management that need to be in place to control all of it. So the future for those businesses that turn themselves into managed services providers is really looking very bright because they are going to be taking advantage of an opportunity that is naturally created by this incredible growth in the number of devices.”

McKinnon says it’s not just about physical devices, either.

“It’s also now about how our web and cloud platforms are connecting with each other. Systems like Concur, Salesforce, Evernote, Dropbox, Google Apps, Office 365, VMware all of these things that have an API or interface where you’ve got an opportunity to connect to it, manage it, take some kind of corrective action if something breaks for example.

“Our [Managed Workplace 9.1] platform can automate many of the common operations that may need to be taken if a fault occurs on those systems,” McKinnon says.

McKinnon’s comments come as AVG launches Managed Workplace 9.1 an open ecosystem remote monitoring and management platform, aimed at managed service providers, VARs and resellers.

Managed Workplace 9.1 offers IT administration, control and reporting, integrated security and mobile device management.

Featuring secure sign-on and backup and disaster recovery extensions and including Microsoft 365 and VMware integration, the offering is an ‘out of the box’ solution which makes it easy for partners to deploy and administer remote IT management services to business customers, AVG says.

“Those companies that adopt automated platforms that can respond efficiently and quickly in times of disaster are the ones that are naturally going to survive and those others that don’t invest in those platforms to take advantage of this, I just don’t see them continuing. Because the market is just going to demand that they step up their game and become more responsive as a result,” McKinnon says.