- Posted June 08, 2020
The exciting future of MSPs and Managed Guest WiFi
The MSP business model has changed drastically in recent years, and we can expect that trend to continue.
The MSP business model has changed drastically in recent years, and we can expect that trend to continue. In fact, according to Gartner, by 2023 63% of global MSPs will gain their revenue through DBIO (digital business infrastructure operations). The Gartner piece drives home a key insight for the future of MSPs: gone are the days of MSPs simply supporting and maintaining infrastructure. To remain competitive, MSPs need to be able to provide service with a focus on business outcomes. As opposed to merely enabling core business by managing underlying IT infrastructure, MSPs must now help add value to business objectives.
In the managed guest WiFi space, this means MSPs need to deliver value in the areas of customer experience (CX), omnichannel marketing, and big data analytics. As the Queentessence team comes from MSP roots, we are particularly cognizant of the challenges and opportunities facing the Managed WiFi Space. Drawing from our MSP background, we have tailored our solutions to meet the demands of a rapidly changing managed WiFi landscape. Here, we’ll provide some insights, tips, and projections on what the future holds for MSPs in the managed WiFi market.
The evolving role of the modern MSP
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) have been vital to technology implementations for as long as tech has been mainstream. MSPs help abstract away the complexity of IT infrastructure and enable their clients to focus on core business. While cloud computing has shifted the underlying technology MSPs need to navigate, it hasn’t changed the need MSPs fill as an integrator and tech expert.
However, globalization, automation, and A.I. are changing the dynamics of the MSP space. For example, MarketWatch calls out rapid globalization and digitalization as a growth driver for managed services. Digitalization is making the world smaller and more competitive, and MSPs must be able to adapt to stay ahead. This is where automation and A.I. come in. Automation can help do away with repeatable tasks that use to require a technician. A.I. can enable analytics that make better decision making and more targeted marketing campaigns possible.
While it is easy to look at automation and artificial intelligence as a way to cannibalize revenue (fewer billable hours for example), that view is shortsighted. The reality is that automation and A.I. enable MSPs to give their clients more value for their investment. This encourages collaboration and enables long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.
MSP opportunities and challenges with managed guest WiFi
While it’s clear the MSP landscape is evolving in general, what does that mean for those of us in the managed guest WiFi space? In short: enabling insights from WiFi data, contributing to an omnichannel marketing experience, and enhancing CX are a must.
Simply provisioning access points and ensuring connectivity is only the beginning. The real business value for brick-and-mortar venues lies in what they can learn to improve CX. MSPs that understand this and position themselves to deliver those insights will have a competitive advantage.
The challenge for MSPs will be transforming data from various digital touchpoints to actionable information. MSPs who can meet this challenge can bring their clients a wealth of business value, such as:
- Targeted advertisements
- Personalized customer journeys (e.g. rewards programs)
- Insights on venue layout & customer behavior (e.g. dwell time, heat maps, and unique visitors)
How Queentessence can help enable MSPs
Managed guest WiFi services allow MSPs to provide venues a foundation to capture a wealth of data. However, creating a holistic solution to deliver this value cost-effectively is a challenge. This is why we designed our cloud-based Andromeda SaaS platform to make aggregating and curating valuable data simple. We built the tool we wanted as an MSP.
Some of the key features of Andromeda include:
- Enables simple, scalable AP management– Andromeda’s intuitive and modular dashboard allows for the management of access points by zones from any physical location. The streamlined onboarding process allows users to connect with cloud WiFi vendors like Cisco Meraki in minutes. The SaaS model makes geographic restrictions much less of an issue and allows global organizations to manage venues around the world easily.
- Makes captive portal management easy– Captive portals are one of the essential parts of managed guest WiFi. This is prime advertisement space. Our powerful and simple splash page editor makes captive portal editing easy. Non-technical users can create customized portals using drag-and-drop functionality in minutes. Further, venues benefit from our patented “Pre-roll” technology that auto-plays promotional messages before users are authenticated.
- Provides insights from multiple omnichannel data points- Tying together data from multiple data points is vital to enabling actionable insights. Andromeda aggregates data from multiple data points and uses A.I. and machine learning to curate the data. This enables decision-makers to make more informed choices on everything from venue layout to marketing campaigns.
- Delivers a secure browsing experience– Security is more important than ever. If your guests don’t trust your WiFi, they won’t connect. WiFi Compass, a DNS Analytics feature, restricts access to potentially dangerous content. This helps mitigate the risks of malware while also providing another avenue for analytics.
- Enables the correlation of social media data– With WiFi Social, venues are able to capture insights on social media behavior. For example, unique sessions can be correlated with the likes of a given social media post.
- Is compatible with major vendors– Today, Andromeda seamlessly integrates with major WiFi vendors like Cisco Meraki, Ubiquiti Networks, OpenWRT, Riverbed/Xirrus, Aruba, and more. We’re expanding our compatibility as well, so if you’re looking for a vendor integration we don’t support today, reach out!
- GDPR compliance– Personal data privacy is important from a legal and ethical standpoint. While personalization and enhanced CX are important business objectives, we have an obligation to respect individual privacy. For this reason, the Queentessence team delivers a GDPR compliant solution.
The most important part of Andromeda is not its ability to deliver these features alone, rather that it can do so in a single, elegant, holistic SaaS platform. The elegance of Andromeda means MSPs can focus less energy on making all the underlying pieces work together and more on collaborating with their clients to optimize value.
Conclusion: A.I., automation, and expertise will drive growth for MSPs
While the MSP landscape is changing, the change brings with it a wealth of opportunity. The managed services market is projected to grow at an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.3% from 2018 to 2023 (Source: MarketsandMarkets). The MSPs that take advantage of the potential of automation and A.I. and invest in the right technology now will be able to capture a large chunk of the upside of the market in the years to come.
At Queentessence, we’re dedicated to helping our MSP partners stay ahead of the curve when it comes to managed WiFi services. If you’re interested in learning more about the latest in managed guest WiFi, contact us today! Whether you have preliminary questions about the technology or a specific application you’d like us to identify a solution for, our team would love to hear from you!
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