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Microsoft and ConnectWise services moves

Two similar things I spotted…

First, per ChannelE2E, Microsoft has launched a free Business Consultation service that features one-on-one meetings between the technology giant and small business owners/customers.   The one-on-one sessions are 60-minute engagements over the video, chat, or audio calls. If you need more time, you can schedule a follow-up during your original call; the company indicated—no mention of partner involvement.

Second, ConnectWise launched the ConnectWise Incident Response Service.    From the press release, the service provides direct, around-the-clock access to a team of expert cybersecurity analysts to provide immediate assistance to assess, contain and remediate threats to minimize impact and business disruption.   The service also aids in the recovery process with forensic examination of system data, user activity, and artifacts of digital evidence to determine the extent of the compromise and identify which threat actor might be involved.  I inquired about pricing.    Delivered as a retainer service, the cost is $300 per hour, purchased in blocks of 20 hours.  

Why do we care?

Starting with ConnectWise… in discussions with investors about the company and in one of my What I tell Investors videos, I offered that I suspected ConnectWise would focus more on services.   They have other pieces of that puzzle in both acquisitions and offerings – particularly the former Zenith Infotech slash Continuum NOC, a resource that will likely never be recreated again.     It’s an interesting differentiator – I’m less convinced it has the margins and scalability that the organization may want from an investment standpoint… and yet has potential for the providers themselves. 

Microsoft’s move is similar… services play.   Microsoft doesn’t make moves without intention – this should be a wake-up call to the MSP market that the company doesn’t believe enough good advice is getting customers.  Instead of complaining about them going direct, perhaps acknowledging this is a gap in the market they have identified would be smarter.