From The Editor | August 9, 2013

Goldberg Preps RetailNOW Attendees For SaaS Model, Implores Them To Act

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By Jim Roddy, president, Business Solutions magazine

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One of the top speakers at RetailNOW every year is attorney Bob Goldberg, who specializes in legal representation of reseller companies. Goldberg’s 2013 presentation included his regular dose of insight, advice, wit, and candy thrown to participants, but the big bonus this year was his list of actionable items that will aid retail IT resellers in their transition to the “as a Service” business model.

I’ll get to specifics from Goldberg’s talk in a minute, but let’s look at the bigger picture here. Retail IT resellers, considered by many to be laggards among solutions providers, now have before them specific actions they can (and should) take to transition their business. Discussions in this channel have moved beyond kicking tires to actually learning how to drive the car.

As I wrote earlier this week in the article “’As a Service’ Message Resonates At RetailNOW. Now What?”, the onus is squarely on retail IT resellers, vendors, software developers, payment providers, and distributors to quickly implement “as a Service” in this channel. Goldberg and many other resources – ranging from panelists at the general session to industry leader breakouts to BSM’s “as a Service” handbook distributed to all RetailNOW attendees – provided plenty of education on this important trend. The next step is channel companies planning and testing recurring revenue models.

I live-tweeted during Goldberg’s talk, and since BSM’s subscribers eclipse my Twitter followers by about 39,000, let me use this forum to share with you his key points:

  • The reseller channel will always be here. You are irreplaceable. The technology is changing but our knowledge is growing. Goldberg
  • New entrants are coming into our market, and that's a good thing. Goldberg
  • Under the "as a Service" model it is imperative resellers promote their own company name, not supplier names. Goldberg
  • Talking is not planning. It takes energy & forethought to implement a services strategy. Goldberg
  • The services/recurring revenue model makes the business more valuable because it doesn't need you. Goldberg
  • Present to customers with a services proposal and a traditional proposal. Let the customer choose. Goldberg
  • Always bundle the complete solution. Don't let yourself get nickel-and-dimed. Goldberg
  • Add a hardware replacement program and non-transfer stipulation to your agreement when selling SaaS. Goldberg
  • In SaaS model, there's no sales tax because you still own the equipment. Goldberg
  • Biggest concern: return/retrieval of equipment. Include a personal guaranty in the agreement - ensure you get equipment back. Goldberg

Goldberg's actual “as a Service” contract template is available at www.GoRSPA.org and is free to all members. If you serve the retail space, it’s in your best interest to join RSPA, download Goldberg’s template, and give him a call. RSPA members are entitled to free legal advice from Goldberg, including a review of vendor and customer contracts.

RetailNOW 2013, hosted by the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA), was held Aug. 4-8 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. For more information on the event, go to www.BSMinfo.com/InsideRSPA.