Guest Column | November 15, 2013

IT Services Are An All-Or-Nothing Game


By Justin Scopaz, executive director and general manager, Ingram Micro Data Capture/POS and Physical Security Business Units

Successful channel partners often approach IT services as an “all-or-nothing” game. Why? Because with more than 75,000 solution providers in the U.S., if you can’t provide your client with the IT support and services they need, someone else will.

Take cloud computing as an example, or mobile devices. Market adoption and demand around cloudbased applications and mobile solutions is soaring, especially within small and mid-size businesses. But the number of channel partners actively supporting these emerging solutions is relatively small, which is great news if you’re one of the few offering cloud and mobile solutions but a huge miss for others that ultimately opens the doors for competitors to walk in.

Another example of an area where channel partners may lack expertise and, as a result, remain vulnerable is physical security. Now that video surveillance equipment ties back into the network and is used for business intelligence, companies in key verticals such as retail, hospitality, gaming, and transportation are expecting more and want to use video to their advantage. A channel partner may own the front office, supporting all the data capture/POS equipment, and even some of the network management. But if the customer wants or needs physical security solutions and you can’t deliver it, again, the doors are opening wide for competitors to swoop in.

The fact is, technology is converging at a rapid rate. Everything is now connecting to the network and demands some sort of management. As a result, the IT services market is gaining in complexity and the role of the IT services provider is becoming far more critical and less forgiving. It is an all-or-nothing game, and in order to stay competitive, channel partners must offer a complete portfolio of solutions.

But keeping up with all the technical advancements is exhausting, not to mention expensive. So how do you cover all your bases and truly become a total solution provider? The answer is partnership. It may sound oversimplified, but at the core, smart partnering is what separates the good from the great and really drives revenues and profits higher and higher.

Whether it’s peer to peer, teaming with a vendor, or forging a strategic alliance with a distributor, successful partnerships are priceless and become a huge differentiator for channel partners. In fact, one of the greatest benefits of collaborating with others is how much faster and more profitably you can grow and scale the business.

Top channel partners draw on the expertise of others in order to claim a larger stake in today’s fast-paced market by never saying “no” to an opportunity. They’ve taken the time to build channel alliances that allow them to expand their businesses and help other partners do the same. They team with a resource-rich distributor like Ingram Micro that has a wide and deep portfolio that crosses over technologies from consumer electronic to commercial-grade, and offers business-minded and technical support.

The bottom line is there’s no longer an excuse to sit on the sidelines and watch business fly by. The next time you think you don’t have what it takes to pursue a new piece of business, take a look around. The path to growth is partnership. Align your practice with partners who can transform your business from good to great and help you become a total solutions provider and trusted advisor to your customers.