Grounded in the Cloud
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Building a Winning Cloud Service Portfolio for Managed Service Providers


Guest Author: John McMillan, Director – ISV Strategy and Cloud Service Creation, HPE

This is a critical moment for managed service providers (MSP). According to IDC, the global small-medium business (SMB) market for public IT cloud services will grow at an annual average rate of 18 percent over the next four years. By 2020, IDC estimates the total market will be worth an astonishing $81 billion.

But new opportunity brings new questions for MSPs competing for a share of this booming market. Over the next several weeks, we will explore some of these questions from a variety of perspectives with the aim of helping MSPs succeed in this evolving, competitive landscape.   

The first question we’ll consider is how to design a winning portfolio of complementary services.  


Think of a portfolio as a pyramid. At the foundation is the core service that every business needs. This is the anchor on which the rest of your offerings will rest. On top of the anchor sit utilities. These are services that are optional, but which greatly extend the functionality of the anchor service. At the pinnacle of the pyramid are the value-adds – services that complete a logical bundle by meshing with the first two layers of the portfolio pyramid.

Let’s look at a hypothetical portfolio for data management and collaboration:

  • Anchor: email, backup and archiving.
  • Utilities email security, recovery options for back up, and compliance reporting for archiving.
  • Value-Add: web conferencing or personal computer backup and archiving.

Not only does a portfolio organized in this manner make things easier for the IT decision makers who are your customers, you also strengthen your practice. By focusing on one anchor service and the utilities and value-add services that complement it, you will:

  • Maximize customer revenue à customers are buying more from you
  • Maximize the applications used by each customer à customers are adopting more cloud services from you
  • Reduce churn à the more services customers use, they are less likely to switch providers

In the next blog, I will introduce a cloud service portfolio with road map recommendations based on market trends and analysis.

Senior Manager, Cloud Online Marketing
About the Author


I manage the HPE Helion social media and website teams promoting the enterprise cloud solutions at HPE for hybrid, public, and private clouds. I was previously at Dell promoting their Cloud solutions and was the open source community manager for OpenStack and at Rackspace and Citrix Systems. While at Citrix Systems, I founded the Citrix Developer Network, developed global alliance and licensing programs, and even once added audio to the DOS ICA client with assembler. Follow me at @SpectorID

Jan 30-31, 2018
Expert Days - 2018
Visit this forum and get the schedules for online HPE Expert Days where you can talk to HPE product experts, R&D and support team members and get answ...
Read more
See posts for dates
HPE Webinars - 2018
Find out about this year's live broadcasts and on-demand webinars.
Read more
View all