Guest Column | September 9, 2019

How To Navigate The Changing MSP Landscape

By Rob Spee, Channel Journeys Consulting

Jeff Ponts, Datatel Solutions

Jeff Ponts


Datatel Solutions


Sacramento, CA

Year Founded



To earn the loyalty of the channel community by offering a comprehensive platform and business model that empowers them to fulfill their goals.

Channel Experience

16 years

"Change is inevitable. You have to be nimble and stay relevant. Even if you think an application is going to dig into your margins, look at it, see how it might fit you." -Jeff Ponts, Datatel Solutions

With the exponential rate of innovation and new technologies emerging almost daily, it’s a challenge for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to stay on top and stay relevant.

I discussed this challenge with Jeff Ponts, founder of Datatel Solutions, on my Channel Journeys podcast. When Jeff founded Datatel, he decided to focus on serving the MSP channel when all the other master agents were working with telecom agents. Jeff describes a recipe for MSP success founded on always keeping the end customer in the forefront.

Key Take-Aways For MSP Success

  • Pick a vertical and develop a deep domain expertise.
  • Move away from just selling services; help your customers by branching out and continuously learning new applications.
  • Really go after your local market and focus heavily on marketing.
  • Fight to stay relevant by converging and integrating your marketing and sales strategies.
  • Change is inevitable. Be nimble. Don't get married to one platform because that platform is going to change.

Take Action - One Thing Vendors Can Do Today

Get out of the mindset that you only have one route to market. MSPs are a powerful channel to leverage and they are seeking new ways to add value to their customers. If you’re not already working with MSPs, it’s time to learn more about this powerful channel. You can start by listening to this Channel Journeys podcast.

Robert Spee, Channel Journeys ConsultingAbout The Author

Rob Spee is founder and CEO of Channel Journeys Consulting and host of the Channel Journeys podcast. Rob applies his channel expertise to help clients create and execute channel strategies to accelerate revenue growth. His global channel experience spans from building channels at startups to vendors and distributors like Arrow, BMC, Carbonite, and SAS. Follow Rob on Twitter and LinkedIn.