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Why Managed Services are a Must for VARs
By George L. Koroneos
In the past year, the concept of the managed service provider has morphed into that of a VAR that can juggle both hardware purchasing and installation and provide services that produce reoccurring revenue to bolster the bottom line. The idea of a company that solely serves as an MSP is great in theory, but many of the resellers that I’ve spoken to have explained how important it is to hold onto their hardware client base, while expanding their profitability with fixed-fee offerings.
In other words, the idea of the total solution provider—a VAR that provides hardware, installation, value-added services, and custom software—has finally become the norm. The most popular services to add to hardware are no-brainers: back-up and disaster recovery, remote support, and CRM tools top most lists. This month, we are going to look at a service that might be flying under the radar for some solution providers, but that could be used to generate a good stream of revenue—BYOD security and management (Page 18). Rather than frown upon clients allowing their employees to use their own devices in a corporate environment, some solution providers are offering network security services that give companies the ability to safeguard proprietary information on tablets, phones, and computers that are owned by employees. BYOD represents a new low-hanging fruit that solution providers can easily add to their line card to increase profit and make themselves indispensible to their clients.
On the other end of the spectrum, this month’s massive cover story (Page 22) is all about looking beyond low-hanging fruit, to the products and services that could be mainstays in retail stores in the very near future. Just in time for RetailNOW, Lisa Terry examines where retail technology is heading and spotlights all the tech you could ask for, as well as a ton of solutions that can be implemented right now. If you think some of these ideas might be a bit far-fetched, feel free to track me down at RetailNOW at the VSR booth, or pose your questions to my Technology Vision Discussion Panel taking place on Tuesday, July 31 at 10:15 a.m. (www.gorspa.org) where we’ll be waxing philosophical about everything from BYOD to NFC. See you in Vegas.
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