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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

Location

333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States

WWW: acer.com

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March 17, 2009 |

Green IT Opens Another Door for MSPs

Increasing emphasis on green computing has the potential to create new business opportunities for managed services providers. By Martin Sinderman

Green IT Opens Another Door for MSPs

Increasing emphasis on green computing has the potential to create new business opportunities for managed services providers.

By Martin Sinderman

Increasing emphasis on green computing has the potential to create new business opportunities for managed services providers (MSPs), although it’s probably not a game-changer in promoting adoption of this service delivery model among SMBs.

Today’s volatile energy costs and overall economic angst have focused more attention on green computing strategies and techniques on the part of both MSPs and their clientele, according to Dan Shapero, senior vice president of marketing for Kaseya, a global provider of IT automation software with U.S. offices on both the East and West Coasts.

“Green computing is ‘top of mind’ with many organizations,” says Shapero. “Offering green IT strategies to customers is a great way to both raise social consciousness and save customers money. And in today’s tough economy, there are few opportunities to do a good deed and save money at the same time.” Green computing is also a good fit for the MSP model of providing increasingly automated, ongoing IT support and services remotely.

“By automating IT services, implementing best practices, and providing consistent customer service levels, even while going green, you can still wake up an out-of-band PC or laptop to perform software updates, patches, and backups,” Shapero says. These tasks can all be performed remotely, “so you don’t need to travel to fix a problem, thereby reducing your carbon footprint while improving IT service.”

According to Shapero, software such as Kaseya’s User State Management module, combined with new Intel vPro processor/chipset/network connection/system management technology, enhances the ability to promote energy efficiency by remotely powering off computers during nonproductive hours, then powering them back on to conduct routine off-hour IT tasks.

David Beltran, owner of Bethel, Conn.-based Compu Mech, which offers small business consulting, remote and onsite support, and managed network services, favors a more hardware-oriented approach. “With the help of many major hardware manufacturers, MSPs have been given the option to move beyond software solutions to aid in lowering the environmental impact of SMBs,” says Beltran. He encourages his clients “to invest in hardware, such as PCs with CPUs, GPUs [graphics processing units], and power supplies that dynamically manage energy efficiency, without relying on the operating system or any other piece of expensive software.”

Getting SMBs to purchase new hardware such as this is often a difficult proposition, notes Beltran, “but as the technologies become more mature, accessible, and less expensive, we expect to see high growth in the coming years.” In the meantime, the greening of the IT world provides MSPs with a new, highly visible way in which to make further progress in changing how SMBs traditionally view the computer system maintenance and repair services function.

As MSPs break ground in developing service-level agreements (SLAs), pricing strategies, and other elements necessary for migrating customers from the response-based to the managed-services delivery model, “green IT is another great way for them to differentiate their offerings,” says Shapero.

Still, whether you’re talking green IT or any other item on the MSP menu, “we must dynamically change our approach and not only show, but demonstrate, the capabilities and long-term cost savings provided by our services,” adds Beltran. Being environmentally friendly while also saving money is an attractive concept; but, he notes, “convincing an SMB to take the leap of faith can sometimes be a daunting task.”


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