With my thinking on ecommerce a heavy conversation lately in IT services, let’s pickup a story I missed.
MSP tools provider Datto has launched Datto Commerce, which quoting Channel E2E is “ cloud-based sales platform for MSPs that supports sales quoting, procurement and e-commerce capabilities, and connects to third-party distributors such as Ingram Micro and Synnex.” The product includes ecommerce capabilities to let end customers purchase pre approved products from MSP websites.
Why do we care?
Joe Panettieri at Channel E2E has a follow up piece where he outlines this bet for Datto on being a Shopify style platform for MSPs. He’s not wrong… but I think this is too late.
Providers need to be in flight now rather than waiting on this to be a significant thing, and more importantly, the tools to do so are well established… including things like Shopify as you outline.
If the key value of a provider is their ability to simplify down to a solution for a customer, then less is more when it comes to a providers online “shop”. A highly focused, highly curated collection of products will be why you purchase from a specialty retailer like a service provider. It’s not about having “all the products” from Ingram or Synnex, it’s about the curation.
Far too many of these tools focus on the “back end” rather than delivering a good end-customer experience. You can see it in the features list.. an emphasis on quoting, feeds, procurement, and integrations, rather than leading with eCommerce.
There’s real potential here for sure — I fear for the over emphasis on the backend rather than the focus on the end customer. Those providers who want to be in the lead here shouldn’t be waiting for a product bet to pay off when the tools to be delivering ecommerce now are available and mature. If vendors want to capitalize on that, they had better be moving more aggressively than small bets.
Source: Channel E2E