Products don’t differentiate – Services do!12 Nov
In today’s competitive IT Channel environment, despite the global economic downturn and shrinking IT Departments, the Managed Services Market continues to grow both in the US and in the UK.
With the increase in popularity of tablets and the widespread adoption of BYOD, PC sales are down and server and storage sales are flat; yet overall IT spend is still rising. This is especially true in the US, with Forrester forecasting over 7.5% Tech Spend growth in 2013. As they say, when the US sneezes, the UK catches the flu.
Of course, the opposite is also true and while the US has stuttered at times (not helped by Congress shutting down the federal government!) the economy is showing signs of recovery that point to a banner 2014 to 2016. The UK Market will not be far behind.
In the IT Channel, relationships and good selling practices are vital, but price competition is a dominant factor as we all see in our day-to-day selling. Delivering a quality service on top of the box shifting is a critical element to sustain long-term value and strengthen your relationships with your end users.
As end users adopt more flexible working practices, and IT departments are asked to do more with less, generating a managed services business for resellers is critical to every UK VAR. It is, of course, not that easy. Fluctuations in service demand, an understanding of which technologies your client base require service and support for and the lack of a predictable sales pipeline make it hard to get the staffing levels in professional services right.
IT departments are becoming increasingly dependent on outsourced services. The quality and availability of that service becomes increasingly important to end users if resellers want to remain relevant to their clients – being able to install and support the kit you sell is a must. Our aim for resellers is to help you gain a ‘Trusted Advisor’ status with your customers. To accomplish this, you must have technically good, reliable experts on board to help you build relationships. Services is a people business, and to build that trusted relationship with customers you need a channel only partner you can trust not to go direct.
A service contract provides a stronger bond with your customers and is more likely to result in loyalty, as engagement is on an on-going basis and sustained over a longer period of time. You also get to help your clients when they need it most – as their tech isn’t working! Don’t forget, those essential profit margins on services are typically healthier than product sales too.
As Larry Walsh, CEO of 2112, in the CRN Intelligence Transatlantic MSP Report states – “Services is and will remain the growth engine of the channel….channel partners want services to maintain their relevancy.”
As ever, change is a constant in the UK IT Channel; resellers and MSPs alike are constantly challenged to deliver a range of quality services, often from a limited resource pool. To stay relevant and achieve long-term sustainable growth, scaling a services business is a must for every reseller, MSP and distributor in the Channel.
About OrderWork: We give channel partners the reach to help you grow. We partner with resellers, MSPs and distribution to help them seamlessly and quickly scale their services business to address new technologies and geographies. Our white labelled team of IT professionals provide expertise in Server & Storage, Networking, Desktop, EPOS, and AV.