Survey Results: Do the Vendors in Your Stack Check the Top 3 Boxes?
Out of all the IT service providers that MSPs can choose from, what’s the best way to stack your stack? A recent survey by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) and Pax8 of senior decision-makers in the channel has identified the three most important things to look for in vendors.
Today’s cybersecurity landscape is different than it was two years ago. The influx of remote workers and spiking ransomware attacks have altered what MSPs are protecting: dispersed endpoints and how to best secure business continuity. Cyber liability insurance carriers, state regulations, and federal compliance policies are focusing on the responsibility of service providers to protect businesses. Now, when a cyber incident occurs, the MSP makes headlines rather than the attacked business. With all of these factors at play, MSPs are reevaluating their stacks to guarantee both client and MSP security – no matter what.
A survey conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) and Pax8 polled over 550 senior decision-makers in the channel. When participants were asked what vendor characteristics influence their portfolio decisions, the top three were technology, business enablement, and scope of solutions.
In this article…
- Discover why these vendor characteristics are most influential to decision-makers.
- Understand how they impact MSP business growth to make the right decision the first time.
- See how Axcient business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions directly address MSPs’ needs.
#1: Technology (47%)
It should come as no surprise that the technical capabilities of a vendor (i.e., we consider the vendor to have a technology advantage over peers) is the most influential characteristic MSPs seek in their vendors. With 47% of respondents citing technology, it’s evident that security is at the top of everyone’s mind – as it should be. As MSPs compare their current solutions to other opportunities in the market or search for new vendors, they should consider the following:
- Features unique to the vendor
- Built-in automation and innovation to reduce costs
- Frequency of product updates and upgrades to meet new challenges
- Available third-party tests to confirm reliability
Axcient’s security-first approach to product development puts our backup and disaster recovery solutions beyond just that. Instead, we provide comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) that gives MSPs and their clients’ confidence, peace of mind, and proof, that they can come back from anything. We are proactive in establishing a multi-layer data protection strategy that assumes MSPs and their SMB clients will be attacked. Equipped with robust, always-on, built-in data protection technology, Axcient partners and their clients are prepared for complex cyberattacks, devastating natural disasters, and the consequences of accidental human error. These are some of the technological advantages offered by Axcient:
- Proprietary Chain-Free, image-based backup technology makes each recovery point independent, verifiable, and bootable to deliver unlimited storage and retention, greater reliability, and faster recovery.
- Automated backup integrity testing with AutoVerify automatically virtualizes the latest backup recovery point for each system and runs numerous deep volume tests to check backup integrity, so you don’t have to.
- Self-managed Virtual Office and Runbooks enable quick virtualization of one or more systems in the Axcient Cloud to temporarily replace all impacted production infrastructure for DR testing and instant recovery of production servers and workstations.
- Third-party tested, anti-ransomware AirGap technology separates data deletion requests from the actual mechanics of data deletion so that data can only be deleted after passing through the safety archive after an extended period of time.
A reported 82% of MSPs want to increase their level of automation for correlating and analyzing security data across different security services. Axcient’s product updates focus on delivering those capabilities with technology advancements across our unified x360 platform. With regular quarterly improvements, Axcient’s technology continues to advance security efficiency and efficacy, enabling MSPs to increase their output of high-value services and limit human error.
“With technology like AutoVerify, we can rest easy knowing that Axcient has built-in protections for our clients’ data. We have confidence in Axcient’s solutions and appreciate that we have a vendor partner going the extra mile to make sure our client’s businesses are up and running if the worst happens.” – Paul Charles, CTO at DataTrends
#2: Business Enablement (22%)
The relationship between an MSP and their service provider can make or break your ability to recover quickly and advance competitively. Twenty-two percent of survey respondents chose existing/productive relationships with vendors (i.e., selecting vendors that will support and enable us) as the most critical characteristic influencing their portfolio decisions.
When disaster strikes and an MSP needs the help of their vendor to meet SLAs, deliver on promises to clients, and maintain high service standards, your vendor better be there. Through 24/7/365 support channels, an extensive knowledge base, and consistent account representatives, vendors and MSPs should have open lines of communication. Outside of disaster recovery, an MSP’s vendors should also provide additional benefits to being in the partnership. That could include anything from business reviews and dedicated account services to white-label collateral, joint events, or periodic swag boxes. As a 100% dedicated, MSP-only service provider, Axcient is solely focused on enabling MSPs and their SMB clients. On top of our effective and patented solutions, we give our partners a variety of benefits, including the following:
- The Axcient Partner Program (APP) serves as a gateway to a range of operational, marketing, and communications benefits that scale up as MSPs grow with Axcient throughout three tiers.
- The Axcient Marketing Portal (AMP) extends an MSPs internal marketing resources with brandable assets, customizable email campaigns and social media posts, detailed marketing analytics, and marketing development funds (MDF).
- The Axcient Onboarding Program helps new partners configure and optimize their solutions with training and certification opportunities, an in-depth deployment review, and access to support channels and resources – including dedicated account managers and training specialists.
“The relationship we have with Axcient is something that we value tremendously. Axcient values the relationship we have with them and takes the time to address our concerns. It’s definitely a team effort and behind that team is just great people.” – Robert Cioffi, COO at Progressive Computing, Inc.
#3: Scope of Solutions (21%)
Rounding out the top three characteristics influencing MSP vendor decisions is 21% of respondents who cited the breadth of a vendor’s cybersecurity portfolio (i.e., vendor offers a comprehensive suite of cybersecurity products built on a consistent, integrated platform). The balance between meeting client needs and wants and maintaining profits among vendor management costs is difficult for many MSPs to achieve. Seventy-seven percent of MSPs expect to bring new vendors into the fold as they build out their security stacks, but with each new vendor comes new requirements.
Every new vendor and solution added to a technology stack also adds a specific process for training and onboarding, billing, support, maintenance, and recovery. In addition to the resources these processes require, expertise is also necessary to recover quickly, manage the solution, and meet SLAs. That means costs, resources, and tech responsibilities grow, negatively impacting profit potential. To avoid the consequences of vendor sprawl, MSPs need fewer solutions that can provide more value. MSPs can grow profits, increase margins, and meet client desires through automation and innovation, all-in-one solutions, multi-tenant management dashboards, and simplified operations.
Axcient x360Recover Direct-to-Cloud (D2C) provides hardware-free BCDR so MSPs can deliver endpoint backup, no-appliance BDR, turn-key BDR, and public or private cloud backup with just one vendor. Reducing the number of vendors necessary to meet backup business use cases has enabled MSP partners to save up to 50%, compared to what they were paying for backup alone. Savings are also coming from the advanced technology and automation capabilities in D2C, which frees up more time for value-added tasks. And without any hardware required, MSPs can eliminate the costs and complexity of local appliances.
“100% of our clients are on Axcient. We don’t have another backup solution, and it was the smartest thing I’ve ever done. My labor costs are down significantly, my team has been able to gain a depth of knowledge because it’s just one vendor, and the products continue to get better.” – Phillip Long, CEO at Business Information Solutions
What Vendor Characteristics Are Most Important to You?
Product demos and trials can be game-changing as you consider new vendors or try to standardize on fewer vendors. It’s the best way to get the real experience of relying on the solution. Axcient offers MSPs 1:1 product demos and free 14-day trials on any and all of our products. Our knowledgeable account representatives are available to answer any questions and provide further insight into what comes with being an Axcient partner. Hear from current partners in our case studies, and check out our blog for more information about taking a security-first approach to business continuity.
Looking to read the full survey results? Download the full MSP Security Services Trends eBook
About the Author: Carissa Johnson // Product Marketing Manager, Axcient
Carissa Kohn-Johnson has a background in behavioral and physical healthcare technology and information technology and currently works as the Product Marketing Manager for Axcient. She has a lot of MSP Channel experience from planning and attending hundreds of conferences and tradeshows, and found her passion in technology, and working with MSPs in particular. She serves on the Information Services Advisory Board for her community and feels most at home with other technology-forward people. Connect with her on LinkedIn – perhaps you can contribute to the Axcient blog?
More Great Stuff From Our Blog:
Check out some other interesting pieces from our blog: MSP-friendly resources and tools to help MSPs educate clients to combat phishing attacks and Fight the Phish!, we dove into how chain-based backup works and why chain-free is the way to be, we talked with Jason Phelps from Huntress Labs about planning for the next ransomware attack, our CEO David Bennett explains why the current cybersecurity landscape means traditional backup is dead, or learn how you can ditch pricey on-site appliances with Local Cache for Direct-to-Cloud BCDR.