4 Things MSPs Need to Know About Device as a Service

MSPs can add a niche as mobile device managers to fill clients’ growing need for day-to-day device management.

Tillmann Schwabe

Today, a managed service provider might oversee anything from network monitoring to inventory management. But to stand out from a growing number of competitors, MSPs may need to take on a new role: mobile device manager. The quickest way to do that is by partnering with a device-as-a-service (DaaS) provider.

DaaS providers manage devices through every stage of their life cycle – from sourcing, procurement, provisioning, logistics and deployment to ongoing maintenance, replacement and recycling.

DaaS Benefits for MSPs

Here’s what else you need to know about DaaS and how pairing with a DaaS provider can benefit your clients.

1. Offering DaaS creates a new revenue stream for your MSP. Traditionally, a telecommunications MSP executes an array of functions, from offering help desk support and auditing a client’s network to helping evaluate new software or technology vendors.

By pairing with a DaaS provider, an MSP can add a revenue stream that aligns with their existing business model. Most telecom MSPs already deal with a company’s technology (cellphones, landlines, etc.) and field questions on optimizing telecommunication performance.

Companies primarily seek out MSPs for their technical expertise. When these same MSPs offer DaaS, clients can meet their mobile device needs without searching for a new vendor. This saves time and helps deepen the existing relationship between an MSP and its customer.

2. DaaS improves your clients’ cybersecurity. Businesses dealt with a 50% increase in attempted cyberattacks in 2021. The average cost of a data breach also increased, from $3.86 million in 2020 to $4.24 million in 2021.

But this isn’t necessarily surprising given our increasingly digital workspaces. The typical work-from-home setup is usually far less secure than an office equipped with firewalls and gated networks. That’s why companies need to make cybersecurity a greater priority.

Remote work isn’t going away, and neither is our reliance on technology.

Fortunately, mobile device management (MDM) is a core feature of many DaaS solutions. This MDM element means that an MSP can become a one-stop shop for a company’s technology needs, from device supply to cybersecurity.

Bundling these services together also means companies don’t have to task their own IT teams with managing device security. Consistently running updates, installing security software, and monitoring suspicious activity is a full-time job. When MSPs offer DaaS, it frees client workloads and leaves device security to DaaS providers.

3. DaaS limits e-waste. Traditionally, businesses might purchase devices for their company and discard them once they’re too old. This model contributes to a serious problem: e-waste (discarded electronic devices), which accounts for 70% of global toxic waste.

Beyond sustainability concerns, it’s also expensive to purchase new devices every five years or so – more often if a company’s work hinges on powerful devices with speedy processors.

For businesses looking to improve their ESG performance, MSPs that offer DaaS could be one solution. With a DaaS partner, an MSP can consistently offer clients new devices. This limits issues with older technology buffering or overheating, which can prevent employees from maximizing their productivity throughout the day.

More importantly, though, when MSPs partner with a DaaS provider, they can repurpose and recycle older devices. These efforts help reduce e-waste and limit clients’ carbon footprints.

4. DaaS helps clients optimize spending. Managing devices in-house can stretch a company’s wallet and their staff’s time. DaaS can help companies optimize spending in two ways:

  • Limit IT staffing costs. Aside from managing the cybersecurity for every company device, many IT teams also serve as de facto logistics departments. A typical in-house IT team may need to order, receive, prepare and deliver mobile devices to every employee in their company. This work can preclude tasks that ensure the business is running smoothly (e.g., taking care of the computer network).
  • Shift capex to opex. Maintaining devices in-house requires companies to carry significant capital expenditures they can’t use on anything else. Outsourcing with DaaS frees up this CapEX and shifts it to operating expenditures.

It’s understandable why business leaders may want to manage devices in-house: it keeps everything internal and makes use of existing talent. But this model burdens IT staff and restricts a company’s ability to more freely invest in its core business. With DaaS, a business can focus on what it does best while relying on an MSP to manage the day-to-day of device management.

Remote Work Makes DaaS Attractive Differentiator

Just 4% of employers are requiring their teams to return to the office five days a week. This shift to hybrid and remote working models places a higher demand on the ways we find, use and secure our devices.

The MSP landscape is crowded. Partnering with a DaaS provider can help MSPs reach new clients and relieve emerging pain points around device management in the hybrid work era.

Tillmann Schwabe is the USA general manager at Everphone Inc., a device-as-a-service company. With over 20 years of experience scaling companies of various sizes and maturity, he oversees everphone’s U.S. operations and expansion. You may follow him on LinkedIn or @everphone on Twitter.



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