Hardware: Make it a Profitable Part of Your Managed Services Equation

According to industry analysts, IT spending on computer hardware is on the rise, and continues to exceed spending on computer software. Furthermore, analysts predict that spending on IT services will continue to grow over the near term as businesses grapple with how to manage their increasingly complex IT infrastructures.

For Managed Services Providers (MSP) and Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), offering a robust services portfolio is one of the best ways to take advantage of this continued growth in computer hardware sales and IT services spending, to both increase profits and drive revenue growth. Yet, one of the areas most commonly overlooked by solution providers is the management of their customers’ hardware infrastructures.

As an MSP or CSP, there is no time like the present to take stock in your business and ask yourself how many of your customers are purchasing hardware without a managed services contract, and why is this the case? If even a fraction of your hardware sales are going out the door without managed services, such as remote monitoring and management, or maintenance contracts, such as Cisco® SMARTnet services, then you’re missing out on some valuable recurring revenues.

MSPs and CSPs will often cite lack of capacity to support uptime and availability — and the challenges of keeping their customers’ hardware infrastructure running smoothly 24/7 — as the primary reason for not offering managed services. As such, how can you make sure that you are making the most of each server, storage or other infrastructure hardware sale by wrapping it up with a managed services contract?

Well, you have a couple of options – either build your own infrastructure management solution, or partner with a proven player who specializes in the business of IT management. And yes, of course I am talking about NetEnrich.

If you choose to go it alone in developing your own managed services capacity, you should be aware that this road can lead to increased operational expenses and diminished ROI, due to the upfront investment in time, resources and money. If you take the partnership route, you can rest assured that you will quickly gain access to the technology, added value and infrastructure management expertise that you will need to successfully turn your commodity-driven hardware sales into recurring revenue streams.

Some of the benefits of partnering with NetEnrich include access to a robust remote infrastructure management solution that enables you to support your customers’ entire enterprise, from the underlying software to the most complex hardware infrastructure. Additionally, instead of spending time developing and building your own managed services capabilities, you and your team will also benefit from the extra time you’ll have to get out into the market and sell. It is a win-win situation for both you and your customer.

The lesson to be learned here is that you must always keep a careful eye on the opportunities that are well within reach today to improve your profit margins and drive revenue growth tomorrow. So take the first step and build a foundation for a more prosperous 2013 by making sure that hardware management is an integral part of your managed services equation, whether you choose to build your own, or partner with us to get it done and make more money while adding more value.

-Justin Crotty