I've been saying Layer 1 or Layer 7 for a while. We talked about Managed Services at FISPA in ATL. What Is Managed Services? Phone+ has an article that answers that: "Managed services is proactive performance management of technology (IT, telephony, applications, etc.) assets on behalf of a customer on a subscription basis."
In the article, Do-it-Yourself MSP, one MSP advices:
"Figure out your sweet spot and define it,” he said, noting it’s OK to offer a broad set of services, but each needs to be defined. “I’ve seen several MSPs in my market fail. Each of them in hindsight has communicated that it was a focus problem." ... As customers become more familiar with the managed services delivery model, they will begin to demand more services fall under the subscription model, he said. He cautioned newbies not to take on too many services with limited demand."
Why would you want the Managed Services model? As stated in the article, Mastering Managed Services, (also in Phone+) "Most voice and data VARs are well aware of the imperative to transform their businesses from time-and-materials shops to managed service providers. The annuity revenue model is the obvious lure in an era of slimming hardware margins. Indeed, the managed services model can add value to VARs’ businesses beyond the next sale, but it’s also increasingly used as a competitive strategy for gaining account control in a converging marketplace."
ISP's like the recurring revenue model, but unfortunately the MSP model is labor intensive - skilled labor intensive. But it is a bout leverage. Leverage your understanding and passion for technology to help make other companies more productive. Ka-ching!