Let me compare system integrator and service provider offerings to transportation for a moment. There’s buying, leasing, renting, financing or sharing, with probably a few other types of use or procurement in between. The bottom line: If I want to move myself from A to B, I have a multitude of options to do so. Everything depends on the parameters. If I want to get to my destination as fast as possible, I take my private car. If I want to save money, I choose public transport. If there is luggage, maybe even in bulk, I will rent or car-share a van.
In the end, there will be the one perfect transportation model in due consideration of my parameters.
Where is this talk about planes, trains and automobiles getting us? These days, running an IT infrastructure is very much alike. On one hand of the spectrum is a customer completely and independently running his own IT. Hardware procurement, software integration and operations are all done in-house. On the other hand we see a customer relying on an outsourcing strategy for all his IT services. Consequently, the level of customer involvement across this range drops from virtually 100 percent to virtually zero. Being THE advisor to most endusers, the channel needs to understand that there are granular stages in between and that one single customer might want and need to rely on a mix. Across his departments, he will be at different stages of involvement at the same time. Mind you, the numbers of customers moving their whole IT to a service model are few and far between. Can you imagine a renowned car manufacturer storing his ‘crown jewels’ CAD design files at an outside service provider? I can’t
This then leaves the partners in desperate need of a 360 degree view of the customers’ IT. If the parameters are complicated, only such an insight allows them to define the right IT model for the right segments (application- or function-driven) within the customer. Most likely the result will be a hybrid offering. Catering to one extreme of the spectrum will not suffice – quite the contrary, it endangers customer retention. A hybrid offering does not: Through a mix of reselling, service offering, professional services, support and consulting, resellers maximize their customer retention and also find new ones.
The vendor’s role through all this remains the same, supplying superior innovation to assess and enrich the resellers’ offering. Driving versatility is the goal. Our own EMEA Partners & Pathways organization is no exception, so do reach out to them whenever you are ready.