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Technology / Hardware

How Global MSP Day is helping managed service providers to connect with peers in a post-pandemic world

Barracuda’s Jason Howells discusses how Global MSP Day will help managed service providers face challenges and opportunities of a post-pandemic world.

Like most sectors, managed service providers have faced their fair share of challenges over the past 12 months. The pandemic has meant growing workloads, squeezed customer budgets, and intensifying cybersecurity threats brought by the dramatic shift to remote working.

Global MSP Day is taking place virtually on 26 May. (Photo by Sfio Cracho/Shutterstock)

Barracuda is a leading provider of cloud-enabled security solutions. The organisation’s Global MSP Day Virtual Event is an opportunity for IT managed service providers, vendors and customers to build partnerships with their peers from around the world, sharing the most important challenges, successes and industry insights.

Barracuda’s Jason Howells believes coming together as a community in this way is crucial for MSPs to rebuild and grow their businesses. He discusses what’s in store for this year’s attendees and how going virtual has opened up exciting new opportunities.

How do you think the pandemic has impacted MSP priorities and customer demands?

An MSP’s priorities both in normal circumstances and during the pandemic are determined by their customers’ needs and wants. Success is measured by their ability to continuously assess their client’s security postures, looking for opportunities to address any gaps (both technological and human) that may impact the safekeeping of their data no matter where it is or how it is used.

Every industry is going to operate differently as a result of the pandemic. Businesses that embrace the opportunity and transform to meet new realities will survive. At the centre of this are cloud-based applications and services. Unfortunately, where there is an opportunity, there are also security threats. Cyber risk created by a shift to cloud computing is a manageable obligation MSPs should welcome in an effort to aid their clients in business transformation.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the transformational pressure it has created on work habits and work environments will continue to provide increased attack surfaces. I think we will continue to see more consumers and businesses become aware of the impact of how companies use their personal data. In turn, there will be more discussions around the role of trust in security.

How did your annual MSP day come about?

Three years ago, we created the world’s first MSP Day, a movement designed to build an interactive, connected, and collaborative community of IT managed service providers. The founding purpose of MSP Day was to recognise and celebrate the emerging MSP sector, providing MSPs, vendors and end-user customers with an opportunity to come together and share successes, best practices, and key industry insights.

What can attendees expect on the day?

On the agenda for this year’s MSP Day we have discussions around understanding the threat landscape from Blackpoint Cyber, an industry-leading panel featuring CompTIA, Barracuda MSP and Blackpoint Cyber, as well as the results from the 2021 Managed Services landscape survey.

In addition to the main agenda, there will also be breakout rooms with local guests including MSP thought leaders, local sales leaders and MSPs from around the world sharing their experiences over the last year.

How does the event help attendees to build relationships with these industry peers?

MSP Day 2021 provides a significant opportunity to build partnerships and share experiences with like-minded organisations. By registering for the event, managed service providers can take advantage of the many opportunities to help build or consolidate their business. This level of information sharing is guaranteed to increase knowledge and help organisations discover useful best practice tips to aid business growth.

Why is making these connections particularly important in the current climate?

As we find ourselves looking towards the post-pandemic future, coming together as a community is more vital than ever before to help each other rebuild. There is an opportunity to underline to MSP partners globally that we, as a community, are wholeheartedly supporting them, and in turn, their customers, to create a sense of togetherness as we all move forward to face the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. This year we will again be taking the initiative to all corners of the world and going global virtually on May 26, 2021.

What are the advantages of hosting the event virtually?

The 2020 edition of Global MSP Day was also a virtual event and was the first one to be conducted on a global scale, highlighting the MSP landscape from many different regions, including North America, Central Europe, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Since we were able to produce a successful day despite the obvious constraints that brought, we knew we’d stood ourselves in good stead for this year’s event. The MSP day survey report provided the perfect foundation for the event and this year’s report looks set to reveal some very useful feedback on the day for all concerned.

This year we have instigated a talking heads panel that will examine the comments from the report and discuss the implications in more detail. We have a brand-new platform for the event which will be packed with discussions and carefully tailored segments that will interest MSP partners and customers globally.

With security services growing as an MSP service, what might the ‘Evolving landscape of the MSP Business’ reveal?

Security services are steadily growing as increasing numbers of MSPs realise the need to incorporate additional security for their partners and customers. Our report showcases that this is a skyrocketing trend and also offers insights into how this impacts the landscape as a whole – among other important factors in the MSP journey. We’ll be sharing the full results, which include insights into the landscape and market as well as future trends, at our annual global MSP Day Virtual Event.