How Security Consolidation Can Spur MSSP Growth in 2021
Every year, IT solutions providers face new challenges and search for ways to overcome them while increasing profitability and growing their businesses. 2021 might prove to be more challenging than previous years, as the global pandemic continues to transform business operations, IT and security for organizations of all types and sizes. Customers’ needs have changed and are now influenced by the realities of a growing remote workforce, economic uncertainty and more.
One of the most powerful ways MSSPs can expand profitability and business growth in 2021 is through security consolidation. It’s becoming increasingly vital to work with vendors that can help you not only maintain and grow client rosters, but contribute to cost savings and higher margins as well. What’s more, vendor partnerships that enable consolidation can drive competitive differentiation, which will increase new business and end customer wallet share for your business over time. Consolidation can also generate dramatic cost savings by simplifying staffing, training and certification, and ongoing service administration requirements.
Four Key Outcomes of Security Consolidation
1. Simplified Partnerships – Vendor relationships can be complex and time-consuming to manage. Each one has some level of training-based certifications in place, so for every vendor you engage with, there’s a higher level of strain on your precious technical resources. Technical staff ends up stuck with a backlog of administrative work if they’re working to maintain expertise across competing vendor offerings. On top of that, your team must also maintain multiple disparate test environments.
The cumulative result is more time spent on training and administrivia to sustain vendor partnerships, and less on building your business. Establishing a single vendor offering for each security service category is the best way to ensure your scarce technical resources are productive. With fewer vendor engagements, training workloads, management tasks and partner program criteria become easier to manage, while benefits and incentives are far simpler to track and achieve.
2. Consistent Experience – Purchasing and reselling security products and services can be complicated too. You have to navigate a sea of competing vendors and distributors with varying approaches to licensing, invoicing, renewals management and customer support. Consolidating vendors allows you to streamline and simplify those business elements, reduce distribution sources, and even improve customer service and billing experiences.
3. Streamlined Platform Management – The most profitable MSSPs look beyond simply consolidating vendors to align with those that provide solutions for more than one offering in their security stack – with centralized management. Before choosing a vendor to consolidate on, you must verify that its management platform, and plans for streamlining administration and reporting tasks are a fit.
4. Unified Vision– Expanding your security portfolio can help drive customer acquisition and profitability growth. The more vendors you’re working with, the more challenging it becomes to align on end customer needs and associated portfolio requirements. That’s why it’s critical to partner with a vendor that not only offers a broad range of security services today, but has a similar vision for valuable solutions to add moving forward.
MSSP and customer desires for a single, simplified end-to-end security platform have risen steadily over the past several years. And in recent months, demand for advanced endpoint security services has accelerated dramatically due to the spread of COVID-19 and subsequent shift to remote work. These were significant factors contributing to WatchGuard’s decision to acquire Panda Security in June 2020. This acquisition allows current and future customers and partners to consolidate their essential security services for protection from network to endpoint through a single vendor relationship.
WatchGuard MSSPs can offer network security and advanced endpoint protection services, along with multi-factor authentication and secure Wi-Fi as well, from a single, MSP-focused cloud management console. This can potentially eliminate at least three other vendor engagements from the equation, while streamlining management processes. Many have used our growing portfolio to build their footprint and wallet share with existing customers, and cast a wider net with marketing and sales activities to aid business development and growth.
Security consolidation can ensure you’re engaged with partners that understand your needs, reduce costs, and generate new business opportunities and growth. It’s the best approach to establishing the level of flexible pricing, sophisticated security services, in-depth expertise and business efficiency you need to differentiate your organization. Take the first step on your path to consolidation by assessing existing vendor relationships and identifying gaps and inefficiencies that might hold your business back in 2021.