Competition isn’t everything. There are times when coming together is what’s best for the community as a whole. In the channel’s case, it’s the relationship IT vendors have with their top competitors. Having an open ecosystem allows IT providers to thrive.
At Schnizzfest this year, I sat down with Rob Rae, VP of business development at Datto, to discuss a variety of topics TruMethods members were interested in hearing more about — including Vista Equity Partners’ acquisition of the data protection solutions provider, which ultimately resulted in Datto merging with Autotask, an IT business management solutions provider. This subject in particular sparked a conversation on how important it is for channel vendors to support the concept of open IT ecosystems.
“We’ve been very vocal about having an open ecosystem because we want the MSP to choose the tools [it wants] to work with, and whether that’s blue, green or purple, it doesn’t matter,” Rae told us. “We should all integrate with each other as vendors.”
He went on further to stress the importance of channel vendors prioritizing the needs of MSPs first — and that’s the way it should always be, right? Now, to be clear, I’m not saying channel vendors haven’t been promoting the open ecosystem concept to MSPs (that would be known as “fake news”). Quite the contrary, this year alone — something to be proud of — plenty of IT vendors have issued open event invites to top competitors.
Earlier in the year, business management software company ConnectWise invited its top competitors to IT Nation 2018, which will be held in Orlando, FL in early November. Datto in June hosted its competitors at DattoCon 2018. More recently, network management solutions provider Auvik Networks in July opened its MSP Summer Treat Wave to many of its own direct competitors, including Continuum and SolarWinds MSP.
What these IT vendors are doing is putting everybody else in the position to do the same exact thing — and that (I think) is brilliant. Honestly, the open ecosystem concept has already been spreading, and as an industry, we should try our best to adapt to it. The open ecosystem concept will help IT providers with beginning their journeys to Technology Success World, where our customers are impatiently waiting for us to land.
An open ecosystem allows IT providers to make their own decisions on what’s best for their customers. MSPs know their customers better than their IT vendors do, and that’s something channel partners hear at vendors conferences time and time again, right?
At the end of the day, MSPs aren’t in the business of generating revenue for channel vendors; MSPs are in the business of generating revenue for their businesses. Most importantly, channel vendors should be more focused on putting more MRR into the pockets of their channel partners — and one of the best ways for channel vendors to show their support for MSPs is by coming out in support of the open ecosystem concept.
So, to the channel vendors out there — who’s on board to be “open?”