Thinking about the cloud in a literal context, perception probably has you thinking of darkness, rain, and gloominess.   A lot of resellers today would say that is still how they feel about cloud technology.   Why are some partners so hesitant to adopt cloud services into their business portfolio?   In my opinion it is because they see darkness, gloom, and the unknown of what the forecast will look like tomorrow. New and different is often very scary! So if this is your mentality or if you are still partially hiding under the umbrella, afraid to run full force out into the unknown eye of the storm, hopefully my perception will help shed some light on this for you.

Most of the reseller community started and have maintained their focus on a few core technologies they feel comfortable and/or specialized in. Maybe you are an integrator, a printer house, or many of the other thousands of technology-specific shops that exist out there today. How do you grow or change your business, from more of a reactive break/fix business, to a solution expert across multiple technologies?   I am sure most of you would think, I can’t afford to hire, train, or gain expertise from multiple technologies. I am doing all I can to handle what we offer now on our payroll.  I would agree that this was very true prior to cloud offerings through an agent/referral model.  What does that even mean?  It means that you can add many services to your business today without adding staff, becoming a specialist in the technology, and without spending thousands on demo equipment.   How is that possible?

Let’s take a step back and talk about the differences in CAPEX expenses and OPEX expenses first.  As you know, CAPEX is purchasing equipment out of cash reserves, which requires owning and maintaining physical premise-based equipment.  It costs a lot of money for a company to purchase an on-premise phone system and phones for their business. This also requires their reseller to come onsite to install, train, and support them.  That reseller must have technical expertise, strong working knowledge, and the ability to offer tons of onsite man hours to support them.  On the flip side, you have OPEX expenses for a company.  This would let them budget and pay monthly for a service over time, and hold on to majority of their working capital.   Generally with this model, the company always has the latest and greatest version, and doesn’t own or have to maintain the physical product.  Both of these models exist today, and both offer very strong benefits to resellers and end-user customers.

Back to my earlier discussion.   How do I change into a business with more technology offerings, without changing my core business model?   You can make this leap today by working with great partners with great business models in a referral/agent program. For example, you are a Point-of-Sale specialist. You have 85 core customers that call on you when they need a new POS system, their existing product breaks, or any other relevant POS related questions.  What do they do when they need a new internet connection, phone systems, disaster recovery, or to move their email service off their server to a hosted model?   Today they would probably call 3-5 other providers who focus on the individual component they specialize in.   It is great that they think of you for POS needs, but you may be of no use to them for the other items.   What if I told you that through our relationships today, we can enable your business to offer all of the above items to your customers without significantly changing your business model?

We took you from a POS vendor to a solution provider. You went from being in their rolodex to become a favorite in their cell phone.   Not only did your business with them just grow, but you made life for your customer much simpler. You just became their partner instead of their supplier. You also grew your line card, business breadth, and started a very strong residual income that you will come to count on month after month.

I hope I cleared the future outlook for you and your business. Contact me to talk through how we can help your business become a partner instead of a supplier.

This post was written by

Bryan is a Cloud Product Manager with ScanSource Service Group.

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