Disties turn up heat in managed services market

It was really only a matter of time before Tech Data got into the managed services game.

Tech Data’s announcement comes on the heels of Ingram Micro’s latest offering, a hosted remote monitoring and management platform that it’s offering in conjunction with Ottawa-based Level Platforms.

Now Tech Data has formed partnerships with managed services platform providers N-able Technologies – also from Ottawa – and ConnectWise to serve up managed services to VARs.

N-able will provide remote management and monitoring (Tech Data will distribute N-able’s hosted Momentum System and Velocity System), while ConnectWise will bring professional services automation to the table.

This combined solution will allow VARs and solution providers to offer managed services to their customers, including security monitoring, IP telephony, e-mail archiving, unified communications and disaster recovery.

Tech Data will also be offering Trend Micro’s network anti-virus and content security software and services via a usage-based licensing program in North America. This means partners will have access to Trend Micro’s security solutions on a pay-as-you-use subscription model. For its part, Tech Data will offer a range of sales and technical support.

Ingram got a head start in managed services by rolling out its Seismic offering with N-able’s competitor Level Platforms. Interestingly, N-able had an informal relationship with Ingram, up until the point Ingram launched a formal managed services offering with Level Platforms.

Tech Data also had a relationship with N-able through its TechSelect Affiliate program (its community of SMB resellers), as well as an existing partnership with ConnectWise.While this was going on, Bell Microproducts teamed up with SilverBack Technologies, another player in the managed services space.

Now Ingram is expanding its managed services portfolio with four additions to its Seismic Virtual Services Warehouse. These additions include a network operations centre, a managed help desk offering, automation software, and an e-mail and Web security offering (which can be private-labeled by VARs and solution providers).

One of these additions is software from Autotask (which can be purchased directly through Autotask or through Ingram Micro) that allows VARs and solution providers to track billing, scheduling and other services.

So why are distributors jumping into this market? The idea is to make it easier for partners to get into this space, which traditionally has required a big upfront investment – and consequently a barrier to entry.

The heat is on, with rival managed service players teaming up with rival distributors. Now it’s up to VARs to decide which platform is best.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Vawn Himmelsbach
Vawn Himmelsbach
Is a Toronto-based journalist and regular contributor to IT World Canada's publications.

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