Think Your Company Is Too Small To Compete In The Big Time?
The ability to deliver complete hardware solutions as a subcontractor opens high-end opportunities for VAR USComputers.
Even a small company can get a share of enormous opportunities - if they have the right partner. USComputers, Inc. (Woodbridge, VA) has fewer than 10 employees, but it has provided hundreds of high-speed scanners and other hardware solutions at a number of government offices. For more than four years, USComputers has been working with a technology company that oversees government contracts. This 10,000-employee integrator specializes in process automation and document imaging, but it has subcontracted most of the hardware to outside providers like USComputers.
In its most recent venture with the larger technology provider, USComputers provided five IS450DE scanners from Ricoh for a high-volume scanning operation as well as Adrenaline image processing cards from Kofax Image Products, Inc. The end users were looking for scanning hardware that would provide duplex scanning at production speeds to process documents for indexing and retrieval. With a 150-sheet ADF (automatic document feeder), the IS450DE scans at 98 ipm (images per minute), automatically detecting document size for pages 11 inches x 17 inches or smaller. This model also includes an endorser function that allows a user to print up to 19 characters for retrieval.
While the end user chose the scanners based on available functions, USComputers' customer chose them for other reasons. According to Raj Dass, president of USComputers, the integration partner chose this hardware based on USComputers' ability to combine pricing with support. As a reseller of other IT hardware such as servers, desktops, and mass storage, USComputers offers them a single source for all hardware needs, reducing the need to manage multiple subcontracts. Familiarity with end-to-end hardware solutions from a variety of manufacturers allows USComputers to make product recommendations to fit user needs and address potential interoperability issues.
Small Initial Purchase Is The Tip Of The Iceberg
Selling five scanners and image processing cards may not seem like such a big deal. However, this particular end user also purchased an average of five scanners a month in the previous four months. In fact, the prime contractor has purchased more than 120 scanners from USComputers, some installed by USComputers and some by the end user.
Dass says initially USComputers did not provide production scanning hardware for this customer. The partner was using other resellers to supply scanners but contacted Dass about providing an entire hardware solution. Despite being approached by the partner, Dass says his company still had to sell their ability to provide the specific products in the volume required in a timely manner. He admits that competitive pricing was a key motivator as well, which is not easy to deliver to a huge firm that can essentially deal with any reseller in the country.
USComputers has many customers in the health industries, corporate environments, and government entities. For these customers, USComputers offers complete consultation and integration services. However, its partnership with an integration giant opens enormous opportunities that a company its size could never hope to realize on its own. What both direct and indirect customer engagements have in common is the need for a reliable partner. "Always make sure to provide first-rate services to support the sale," says Dass. "In the end, that's what will keep customers coming back."