The World Is Changed. Which Direction Are You Headed?

By Michael Sterl, Senior Vice President of Partner Success

That’s not my line, “the world is changed.” But I like to sample the quote from The Lord of the Rings to make a point: the marketplace is evolving right in front of our eyes. 

Devices, fixed services, cloud, SaaS applications, the sum total of these is where the puck is going and the partner that can build solutions inclusive of all is the advisor that’s going to get that first call from the customer or a prospect. 

The challenge is conventional wisdom has us conditioned to focus on widget itself. For example, we need to approach the hardware conversation differently and instead focus on it being the comprehensive solution to the challenge. 

Bookmark this webinar in iU. Hardware experts from our SE team share practical methods for selling the full technology stack, creating new upsell and cross-sell pathways and expanding your addressable market.

The Value of Devices 

Regardless of the margins, the simple fact is hardware complements cloud services. 

Look at mobile devices as an example. When you understand what the user has you can develop a stronger recommendation for securing it. The consultant that knows how to do this for their customer will continue to grow in importance, especially as security solutions continue to grow in importance and bring your own devices proliferate.

Let’s pull on the mobile thread a bit harder. Let’s add in the opportunity for lifecycle management, a significant piece of the TAM offering. 

Don’t underestimate the power of visibility and insights. The amount of data every company generates and uses is growing at an exponential rate.  Companies are paralyzed with how to organize and make sense of it all, use it to their advantage, and identify insights for better business decisions. 

Companies that are unable to overcome this hurdle will suffer poorer overall business performance and continue to fall further and further behind the competition.

Tech Sprawl and Complexity

The world of Tech and Cloud Services has exploded in the past decade and is only becoming larger and more complex. As more companies have adopted services through cloud-based subscription models, the connection between cost, usage, and value has become completely broken. “Tech Sprawl” has taken over and will continue to add complexity and cost to every business’s tech landscape. 

UCaaS solutions come with desktops, certified headsets and speakerphones. 

Managed Security solutions come with surveillance systems, card readers, fingerprint scanners, security keys and maybe even point of sale terminals. 

CCaaS solutions come with headsets. 

This is the path to value ad. When you know what devices your customer uses you can showcase a deeper understanding how they can, should and will integrate into cloud solutions.

Limited Trusted Expert Capabilities and Incentives

Capabilities and incentives are not keeping up with the evolving challenges and needs of the business landscape. There’s a gap here and what’s missing is a focus on the macro view of the organization’s long-term success.   

Carriers are only educating partners, creating a gap in knowledge to the end customer. 

Service Providers typically promote only what they can sell.  

Most independent brokers don’t look at the big picture, and often provide recommendations based on their short-term needs or incentives, not necessarily the needs of the customers and accounts. Generally, there is a lack of quality, broad business intelligence supporting recommendations.  

Here’s where I’m going: your world has changed and you’re in the business of identifying solutions to business challenges for your customers. Take ownership of creating an IT roadmap for your customer and dig deep to wrap your arms around what they need. 

Now is the time to “own the MRI of your customer.” Only 20 percent of digital transformation plans are completed. There’s an opportunity for you to be the catalyst that helps them overcome roadblocks to get them to where they need to go.

Which direction are you headed?