SaaS sparks shift in reseller priorities

IT resellers need to change their focus in 2009 towards software as a service (SaaS), or risk losing traction in the SME market, according to Genesis Communications, which is launching a recruitment scheme and online portal for its channel partners.

According to analysts, global demand for SaaS products is growing at a rate of 33% per annum, according to Forrester Research (March 2008). In particular, said Genesis, SaaS is growing in popularity in the SME market, as it provides enterprise level IT support without the initial cost outlay required for a traditional in-house IT implementation.

In order to avoid SME customers going directly to vendors for their SaaS offerings, mobile and IT resellers need to act as trusted advisors and provide consultancy, customisation and change management advice for customers migrating to SaaS from inhouse solutions, claimed Genesis.

To help mobile and IT resellers capitalise on this market, mobile and data expert, Genesis, has launched a targeted channel recruitment campaign centred around its hosted services portfolio for small to medium businesses, which will be managed through a new reseller portal, Choice www.genesis.co.uk/choice.

The site will provide Genesis partners with exclusive product promotions, competitor analysis and sales tools such as revenue and upgrade calculators for prospective customers. Resellers signing up as partners will also benefit from regular incentive schemes, pricing discounts and in-house training by Genesis’ technical team on hosted services, enabling them to secure greater margins as well as provide bespoke packages for customers depending on their business needs.

Genesis’ SaaS services will also help its existing telecoms resellers take ownership of customer relationships and protect account volumes by offering hosted services alongside mobile packages.

Adam Cathcart, head of channel development at Genesis Communications, commented: “The growth in SaaS means many mobile and IT resellers need to urgently add hosted services to their portfolio to avoid losing business. Smaller businesses are keen to invest in new office technologies, however do not want the expense of a large onsite IT implementation. SaaS services are perfect for these businesses, so it’s essential that resellers have a full range of hosted products available.”

“2008 was the year that SMEs realised what hosted services can do for their business, not only the improvements in productivity and customer service, but also the impact on the bottom line,” continued Cathcart.

“Resellers need to ensure they’ve got the right products in their portfolio to be able to provide the service these businesses are looking for, at the right price, and with the right training. Otherwise, they’ll not only miss out on valuable sales now, but also long term relationships with the small business community, which will provide ongoing opportunities for sales over the coming years,” he said.

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