Magazine Article | March 19, 2013

A Marriage Of Technology & Profitability

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By Mike Monocello, editor in chief, Business Solutions Magazine

Historically, our annual Partner Program Insider serves you in two ways. First, we give you a helpful overview of the most significant trends in key markets. Second, you’re presented with information from many vendors and distributors about their partner programs and key offerings should you decide to take advantage of the key trends in those markets.

During Q1 of this year, I’ve spent a lot of time in meetings and on calls with VARs, MSPs, vendors, distributors, and even end users in an attempt to closely understand the trends facing you, our reader. In many of the markets we cover, technological innovations are not just disrupting, but reshaping the industry and what it means to be a solutions provider. In short, this year the trends are more important than ever. You probably feel this with every customer interaction you have. Therefore, on the following pages you’ll find great tips and advice from a variety of different industry experts. Having compiled all the data, I’m very impressed with the level of detail and clarity around the information shared. It’s my hope that you find the information relevant and actionable.

However, simply selling new technologies is only part of the battle, particularly when you account for ever-shrinking margins. No matter your area of focus, profitability has to be top of mind. In the networking world, managed services models have been around (and covered in our magazine) for years. This model of bundling your “stuff” — hardware, software, services, etc. — has proven to be a key to winning the profitability game because you go from receiving one lump sum to getting paid on a monthly basis for years.

Despite the clear benefits, research shows that there’s plenty of room for solutions providers to get more of their customers onto this model. In other markets (retail and hospitality, for instance), the “as a Service” model hasn’t been widely adopted or even really talked about until recently. This must change.

You can adjust your line card to closely align with your customer’s needs. That’s peachy. But you’re missing a huge opportunity to greatly improve the health of your business if you don’t consider bundling everything you have into a service/subscription for which you can get paid on a monthly basis.

As you use this guide to identify or validate the trends and technology changes you need to make to your business, don’t overlook the “as a Service” business model that has the power to do so much more for your business.

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