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Opinion

Reseller challenges in an ever-changing digital world

As the digital transformation continues, more than ever resellers must become trusted advisors

Right to repair

There are a number of challenges facing IT resellers today. The digital industry is fast-paced and ever evolving with new technologies rapidly changing the way businesses grow and remain profitable.

The products we were selling three years ago have continued to evolve, as well, and the need for hardware is changing as the cloud becomes more prevalent. If physical IT solutions cease to exist, what will resellers sell? We must adapt to the transformations affecting the way mobility and point-of-sale resellers are currently doing business so that they are able to continue to offer their end-user customers relevant, flexible solutions.

Today, consumer products are taking the place of many ruggedised products as end users don’t fully understand the benefits of rugged solutions and can’t justify the price difference. It’s incumbent upon the reseller to sell the value of the rugged solution – they can withstand harsh environments and drops, are more durable and can take continued use and handling.

The reality is that many of the products resellers are offering are becoming commodities. If resellers are not offering added value alongside the products they are selling, they will likely begin to merely sell on price – value and support will not matter. That is, less margin on less hardware. Add to that, the hardware is moving to the cloud. Where the old way of doing business was split 40 percent hardware, 40 percent software and 20 percent services, we are now seeing that breakdown leaning towards 30 percent hardware, 30 percent software and 40 percent services.

Customers are increasingly attracted by cloud solutions, viewing them as more cost-effective. But resellers should be aware of the challenges that come with the move from physical IT solutions to the cloud. Customers require advice and expertise to support this transformation. Our focus is therefore helping our reseller partners to move from traditional methods of IT hardware support to a more holistic approach of ongoing support with managed services.

Different software solutions are helping resellers transform from selling physical products to becoming a managed services provider. For example, remote monitoring and management (RMM) allows resellers to proactively monitor their end-user’s technology to uncover potential problems. By offering managed services to their end-user customers, resellers are able to create an ongoing contractual agreement in which they remotely monitor, manage and update their customers’ technology devices, systems and services.

While digital transformations pose a number of considerable challenges, IT resellers around the world have a rare opportunity to play a key role in supporting customers with the implementation of new digital strategies in their organisations. These strategies will have a major impact on the future direction of their businesses.

Now is an ideal time for resellers to strengthen their relationships with existing customers and to develop strong and long-lasting ones with new clients.

Richard Gregoire is vice president of sales, ScanSource POS and Barcode, Europe

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