End-user IT spending is transitioning quickly from on-premise technology to investing in software-as-a-service (SaaS) in the cloud. It means tech resellers are now under growing pressure to embrace digital transformation. Resellers and channel partners that align their priorities accordingly will soon be in a strong growth position in this nascent market.
According to Gartner, growth in IT spending for cloud-based solutions will be significantly faster than for non-cloud offerings. It means resellers, systems integrators, and other companies in the technology space need to rethink how they provide services in the ever-evolving marketplace.
The following four ways of reinventing business can help technology resellers and consulting firms thrive in an age of disruption:
1. Add value in new ways
Given the ongoing changes in the IT landscape, many of the traditional, reliable income streams have started to dwindle. Cloud-based solutions present a far easier and faster configuration than traditional ERP software, leading to reduced consulting and implementation revenues. Resellers will need to find new ways to add value, generate alternative revenue opportunities, and create greater levels of customer loyalty and satisfaction.
One approach is to offer a ‘one-touch’ digital support process that will make it quick and easy to log service requests. Another possibility is to identify opportunities to provide advisory and business consulting services to clients who want to transform their IT environments. Some resellers are now bundling their consulting services, SaaS fees and support charges into one holistic retainer contract – offering a pure service experience to the cutomers.
2. Revamp your sales and marketing processes
With the transition to cloud-based IT and SaaS solutions, most organisations are purchasing IT services and software on a pay-as-you-go or subscription basis. It is a clear indication that IT sales and marketing must transition from the days of long sales cycles towards annuity income streams.
While traditional business-to-business sales and marketing tools will always play a role, the leading IT channel companies of the future will be those that have mastered digital marketing. Among the most critical skills to invest in today is the ability to generate leads from digital channels, and use data to acquire and retain clients.
3. Implement new ways of working
While IT resellers often lag behind when it comes to using the latest tools for streamlining collaboration and automation processes, these channel companies now need to consider new ways of using technology to improve experiences for customers and colleagues alike.
It could mean being open to different modes of work, such as telecommuting, or better yet, work from anywhere, and using cloud-based tools to collaborate internally and externally.
4. Experiment and take risks
All companies may find themselves facing different challenges – from farming and manufacturing to financial services and IT companies. Overcoming these challenges and turning the business around means becoming technology-enabled. Technology resellers need to start appreciating the value of experimentation, risk-taking and innovation, and be receptive to the changes they can bring, even if they are happy with their current performance.
They must consider the opportunities of experimenting with new sales techniques, adopting improved revenue models, and including new partners or services to their portfolio. Resellers need to gain an understanding of emerging technologies and how the buying behaviours of their customers are likely to change.
Find the right partners for your journey
A crucial aspect for every tech reseller looking to enhance its business today is to keep in mind the support of vendor partners and their willingness to participate in a cloud-first IT industry. Resellers must partner with vendors offering leading cloud technologies, a healthy partner ecosystem, and partner programmes that focus on the requirements of the digital era.
By Mansoor Sarwar, Regional Director at Sage Middle East