As we move into the era of SaaS, IT compliance continues to be an area requiring constant vigilance. Helping your customers keep their networks up-to-date (particularly the data-security piece) is essential.
Not only does it ensure licensing compliance and crucial product updates, but it also puts you and your company in a prime position by building and maintaining the strongest relationship with your customers by proactively managing their IT assets.
In a recent study published by IT Managed Services Provider, Softchoice, a surprising statistic was revealed. Based on their analysis of nearly 52,000 networking devices across 200 North American companies, 60% of those businesses were operating network devices that were at the end-of-support stage of the product lifecycle. This exposes them to significant risks.
As reported by The Var Guy, the use of older technology “does not necessarily mean a company’s sensitive files will be breached”, however it can expose the customer’s networks to vulnerability and prone to downtime - or threats from external networks.
For VARs (indeed anyone in the channel), surely this is a great opportunity to sell more. Keeping IT infrastructure compliant is generally the top-of-mind concern for most IT managers. But it is challenging for them to keep track of the expiry dates for absolutely every device in their ecosystem. This is where YOU as the VAR can show your real value.
What you can do to help
The biggest benefit a VAR or MSP can offer is a holistic view of all their client’s assets, not just for one particular vendor product line. The ability to integrate an “asset update” into a monthly or quarterly meeting with your client will therefore not only help you sell more, but will also earn you real kudos from their IT staff - who may not be aware when a critical device gets out-of-date.
In order to offer this value added service, VARs must be more rigorous in tracking the assets of their customers. But tracking each and every asset by customer can also be challenging for you. In the absence of any system, the default option is generally to rely on a spreadsheet.
Be warned, however - spreadsheets can be unreliable, and there’s nothing worse than going into your meetings with an incomplete or inaccurate list. (See our recent blog on the perils of relying on spreadsheets for asset tracking).
Investing in technology that captures the asset data and also alerts you to the refresh opportunities is potentially a better fast-track solution to overcome the challenges of managing a large and complex volume of data associated with having multiple vendor product lines, distributors and customers. Using this technology will then assist your customers stay compliant and on top of their assets. Resellers will readily be able to demonstrate their greater value to their customers, which will be rewarded by their continuing business - and potential referrals to others.
It will open up a world refresh, renewal as well as other professional service opportunities that you may never even thought of!
iasset.com offers VARs a streamlined and automated solution that can proactively manages assets, identifies tech refresh opportunities and triggers renewal alerts.