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Recession Proof Your Business with Managed Maintenance, Inc. (MMI)

By David Boim Business in the channel has been robust the past 5+ years. This business growth has been fueled by new technologies, the emergence of cloud and hybrid cloud, and the explosion of social media and information. 2020 will mark my 40th year in the technology business and I have witnessed incredible change and growth – and weathered economic downtimes. These downtimes often are characterized by a reduction of available capital and credit; companies canceling and/or postponing purchases, fewer investments, roadblocks in the supply chain, and uncertainty. I have mused the behavior of executives who ‘batten down the hatches’ of business. Recessions can also be a time of opportunity for companies that embrace change and are agile/flexible. The keys to companies rising stronger from economic downtimes, i.e. – recessions are the ability to continue to market, control costs – work smarter. And, MMI provides the tools, the processes, and [...]

5 Ways Complexity Might Be Affecting Your Service Revenues

Today’s technology manufacturers setting out to optimize management and tracking of their service delivery lifecycles are confronted with many challenges. For most, the complex nature of the service delivery ecosystem is the hardest to overcome.  Global supply chain networks, disparate data sources, fragmented systems, and high volume and varieties of contract data each create a barrier to an  otherwise profitable annuity source. In order to identify a workable solution, manufacturers must first identify where the difficulties lay in their current service delivery and renewal process. More often than not, the barriers to success are not what they initially thought them to be. Below are the Top 5 Challenges that impair the success of a manufacturers (and channel providers) service delivery and renewal program. Rudimentary Tools – Rudimentary tools, like Excel sheets or homegrown applications, fail to take into account the data necessary to properly track service and product lifecycles. Lacking integration [...]

Why Automated Quoting Solutions Are the Secret to Enviable Service Contract Renewal Rates

Manually managing the IT contract renewal lifecycle comes with an avalanche of consequences. Beyond wasting valuable time and manpower, outdated contract management processes prevent IT organizations from reaching their full revenue potential. Whether you’re an IT manufacturer, distributor or reseller, getting contract renewal information in front of customers is vital to sustaining a healthy annuity stream. But with limited resources at their disposal, renewal teams are forced to prioritize selling to the top 20 percent of customers (who typically provide 80 percent of a business’s annual revenue), neglecting the majority of clients rounding out the rest. For IT organizations serious about growing their bottom line, automated quoting solutions can help lock in additional service revenues that otherwise slip through the cracks. How Automation Reinvigorates the Contract Renewal Processes Successfully closing maintenance and service contracts hinges on your business’s ability to approach customers at the right time, with the right information. [...]

Why Most Companies Fail to Meet Their Service Revenue Potential

The message surrounding the importance of building recurring revenues around service contract management and maintenance has been repeated so often that many have become numb to the opportunity. The reality is most manufacturers, distributors, and resellers understand the importance, but don’t know how to maximize their service revenue potential. The obstacles are most often very formidable. Simple systems (and spreadsheets) do not handle the complexity of service contracts. Getting data right is half the battle and your organization is probably losing this battle. Service and product data are often housed in multiple, disparate systems.  Lacking key integrations features with internal CRMs or ERPs, companies are left without clear visibility of upcoming sales opportunities. The systems many providers use lack critical automation features, such as proactive notifications and alerts, and automated quoting, that would otherwise expedite service delivery lifecycles. Failure to provide downline customers access to critical contract and product data results in [...]

Leveraging KPIs to Maximize Service Revenue Generation Performance

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are essential for measuring the success of not only your business, but the overall health and efficiency of your operations and sales processes.  A pitfall we have seen in the Service Revenue Generation industry is that companies tend to be too myopic in what measurements and areas they focus on for their KPIs.  Most Service Revenue Generation organizations mainly focus on Renewal Rate to measure the health of the business.  While renewal rate is a critical KPI, it should not be the only KPI used.  Likewise, digging deeper into how renewal rate is calculated will also shed a good deal of light on the state of your Service Revenue Generation business. It is imperative that organizations with a focus on Service Revenue Generation keep in mind that not all KPIs should be company-wide.  It is just as important to create and measure KPIs for each [...]

As IT Revenue Generation Evolves, Outsourcing Your Maintenance Practice May Be the Fast Track to Survival

Despite optimistic IT spending forecasts, IT organizations aren’t immune to turbulence. The rapid commoditization of hardware and software, paired with evolving enterprise technology adoption habits, is taking a toll on profitability. Technology manufacturers faced with shrinking product sales are leaning on their maintenance and support practices to offset the loss. But many are quickly finding that sustaining maintenance revenue with internal resources alone is easier said than done. The Complicated State of IT Revenue Generation Multiple factors have contributed to the diminishing state of tech product revenues. For starters, the profile of the traditional IT buyer is changing. More procurement decisions are being made by line of business managers – not just the IT department. This decentralization of power means each team has a smaller technology budget to pull from, impeding managers’ ability to get approval on big-ticket deployments. At the same time, the industry’s move toward as-a-service subscription models lets [...]

Why Organizations Within the Channel Should Consider Staff Augmentation to Grow Their Maintenance Practice

Once an IT provider sells a piece of IT equipment, it’s tempting to simply close the door and move on to the next sales opportunity – especially when that product is already under warranty. But warranties expire, which quickly leads to maintenance contracts, which can ultimately lead to profitable relationships with customers. And failure to address and nurture opportunities as they expand ultimately results in hundreds and thousands of dollars in lost revenue.  A successful maintenance practice looks beyond the final point of sale and instead focuses on the lifecycle of the contract and the opportunity to build long-term customer relationships. The challenge most channel organizations face, however, is the lack of resources and expertise to create a successful nurture program. Internal sales teams, for example, may not have the marketing and reporting expertise needed to develop a sustainable growth plan or the technology used to manage service lifecycles may [...]

How Automated Renewal Solutions Can Eliminate Chaos as Sales and Service Teams Merge

Today’s technology companies are caught in a paradigm shift. With businesses competing for the lion’s share of the market, the focus of most IT channel partners is on nurturing high-volume, low-dollar contracts. Relying on a few high-margin deals is no longer enough – renewals are much easier to secure than netting new business and can help businesses grow their bottom line.  Market dynamics and a crowded industry are pushing manufacturers,distributors, and resellers towards an annual recurring revenue (ARR) business model. But adopting an ARR model can be challenging for organizations with internal teams operating in silos. Today, the customer journey is a disjointed process that can leave money on the table. To take advantage of these untapped revenue opportunities, sales and renewals teams need to collaborate with one another to deliver the best customer experience possible.  The need for a unified sales strategy has inspired a movement toward “customer success” – [...]

Why Simple Solutions Can’t Accommodate the Technology Channel’s Complex Service Contract Ecosystems

To put it gently, IT providers have a lot on their plate. From different levels of service to varying contract lengths and unique reporting needs, these companies have their hands full staying on top of service renewal lifecycles. Despite this immense complexity, a surprising number of companies continue to use rudimentary contract management solutions that slow business operations and exacerbate workplace inefficiencies. Managing a multidimensional service ecosystem with disparate data sources can leave IT providers struggling to make sense of their service and product lifecycles. A global hardware manufacturer, for example, will quickly discover that antiquated applications or CRM systems alone can’t process high volumes of data or deliver the business insights they need. Complex problems are rarely solved by simple solutions. Ironically, many IT manufacturers and providers are hesitant to upgrade their toolkits. A recent survey found one in four technology providers don’t have tools to manage their product and service [...]

Are Manufacturers Providing the Channel With the Right Tools to Capture Service Revenue?

The IT channel is in a state of flux. New competitors and shifting customer behavior are redefining the game for manufacturers and each of their downstream partners. Amazon, for instance, recently entered the managed services arena, signalling a paradigm shift on-par with what the technology behemoth did to traditional bookstores. As enterprise software vendors trend toward as-a-service delivery models, resellers are shifting their focus from products to services (as well as proprietary IP). Recently, vendors from Dell EMC to Kaspersky Labs and Google have unveiled new or improved partner programs to maximize their revenue potential. Confronted with this widespread change, technology manufacturers are quickly realizing they can’t phone in channel partner relationships. As hardware and software become more commoditized, maintenance and support are one of the few remaining areas that drive healthy margins. For manufacturers to maintain this critical annuity revenue, they need to put the right tools in the [...]

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