Value-added resellers (VARs) and related companies including systems integrators, managed-service providers (MSPs), and original design manufacturers (ODMs) are adopting application performance management (APM). This is a healthy trend both for the VARs and their customers.
As “No time to give up on APM” mentioned last week, the returns to well-done APM are as high as ever: end users want applications to be available and responsive, and certainly applications are strategic for more and more companies. APM has the reputation of being clumsy, costly, and complex, though, and too few organizations achieve APM’s potential.
This is the ideal situation for VARs. Their customers are organized in ways that result in no one–not programmers, not operators, not technical support, certainly not sales–having direct responsibility for APM. At the same time, as VARs migrate their strategy from hardware reselling to consultation and other services, VARs are well-situated to amortize the expense of expertise in APM over many accounts. It only makes sense for VARs to present themselves as providers of available services, not just ones whose reliability is unguaranteed.
The result: while Rogier van der Wal writes about the importance of APM to British “VARs who are moving into managed services”, the same dynamics apply in North America and elsewhere. I don’t yet have objective data on adoption of APM among VARs and MSPs; anecdotally, though, van der Wal appears to be on-target.
Focus on business value and this migration makes even more sense. Everyone know that acceptance of cloud–everything from business-process-as-a-service (BPaaS) to hardware-as-a-service (HaaS) by way of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and more specialized offerings–is exploding. Now we’ve entering the phase of selection where businesses recognize that they don’t really want cloud-as-cloud; they want applications that work, all the way to end users. A crucial element of stuff that works, of course, is the high-quality management dashboards into operations that APM uniquely provides. VARs have an ideal situation in the marketplace ecosystem to ensure useful APM deployment.
This evolution has advanced far enough to spawn at least a couple of initialisms readers will want to know: MSPs often think in terms of remote monitoring and management (RMM) and professional services automation (PSA) for aspects of APM. It will be interesting over the next months to document how use of APM by VARs moves beyond press releases and into best practices.