When it comes to IT, it’s all about services.
In fact, you’d be hard pushed to find anyone in the IT industry claiming otherwise.
Whether offering managed services that see you implementing, maintaining and supporting the hardware you sell; or Cloud and subscription based software as a move away from licensed based products; getting up close and personal with your customers is totally all the rage.
Taking on the disruption
Many savvy IT resellers are already well ahead of this new era. Some have even migrated away from traditional hardware and software sales entirely - becoming fully immersed ‘cloud consultants’ or otherwise. Yet regardless of how willing or able you are to embrace and enable change, the fact remains that all companies operating in the IT supply chain will need to develop new strategies, in response to a world that is practically foaming at the mouth over the service based ethos.
Not to be ignored
Indeed, the increase in demand for the XaaS market, for instance, is well documented and known. According to one study, it’s predicted to grow by more than 38% by 2020.
We can’t escape it, so rather than hiding our heads in the sand, it’s better to instead stare this trend in the face. Focusing less on the inconvenience the disruption may cause; and more on the opportunities it could bring, is in fact the only positive way forward.
New revenue streams
For instance, Marathon supports IT resellers who provide Microsoft Office 365 solutions, giving them a huge opportunity to provide an array of value added services. From consultancy, to systems integration, to training, as well as adding to their product profile, these companies can now look forward to the ongoing revenue that is generated by subscription based sales.
Furthermore, they also have the opportunity to offer a variety of support-based services, such as OneSecure, that offers a monthly subscription revenue from Security and opens up a wider share of the overall IT budget, than ever before. The vertical selling opportunities are plentiful.
Test the water
However, even with the right help and support, the prospect of any kind of business transformation can seem an overwhelming prospect for many – especially SME businesses. A natural first step would be to start changing our client-supplier narrative. Instead of talking to our customers about the products and features they are looking for, for instance, we can engage with them about what they are looking to achieve with their businesses – and seek to find them the solution.
What customers really want
It helps to think of it this way: Do customers really want a new server; or do they really want the means to work faster and more productively, so they can build their business? Do they really want a conference device? Or, do they want to bring remote teams together, so they can work more creatively? Thinking less about closing the deal and more about assisting them, with their desired outcomes, puts your customers in control. By adopting a more agile, consultative approach to fulfilling demand, you could find your customers are the ones who take you in the direction you need to go, to become a service-orientated firm.
Taking off in a new direction
As an IT reseller, it might seem that the increase in demand towards more subscription and service based products is a step in the wrong direction for your business; especially if it has grown from the ground up on more traditionally-based hardware and licensed software sales. But with the opportunity to draw closer bonds with long term customers - and open the gates to a new era of recurring revenue streams - the benefits of shifting your focus away from products and features, towards margin rich services and subscriptions, can make it an attractive option.
There’s no need to go about it alone, however. Marathon offers flexible service packages that will make it easy for you to define and realise your customers’ key business outcomes through the implementation of the products, services and systems you sell.
Contact us on 020 8329 1000 when you’re ready to start talking services. We look forward to taking your call.