The Ultimate List of Recurring Revenue Products and Services [Version 2.0]

Note: This is an update to an article originally published on the RSPA Blog in August 2019. Additions to the list are #9 Digital Signage-as-a-Service; #31 payment processing surcharging, cash discounting, and NCA; and #35 POS-as-a-Service. Wireless device management has been replaced with #26 Mobile device management. Thanks to the many RSPA VAR members who provided their input.

By; Jim Roddy, VP of Marketing & VAR/ISV Business Advisor at the RSPA

More recurring revenue is what every retail IT VAR wants, but the best path for them to achieve that goal is unclear. My “Ultimate List of Recurring Revenue Products and Services” should help lift the recurring revenue fog for you. I’ve built it over the past several years – going back to my days at Business Solutions Magazine when we launched our Channel Transitions conference series to help VARs move away from break/fix to the as-a-Service business model.

I’ve refined and expanded this list by studying successful retail IT solution providers who have embraced the recurring revenue business model. The list includes products and services they’ve converted to a monthly recurring revenue offering. Let’s look at the list and then I’ll offer some caveats about it.

Recurring Revenue Products and Services
implemented by VARs in hospitality, retail, grocery, or cannabis

  1. Above-store management
  2. Audio system management
  3. BDR (Backup and Disaster Recovery) for non-cloud systems
  4. Cellular failover
  5. Cloud services
  6. Consumables
  7. Data analytics
  8. Digital menu building
  9. Digital Signage-as-a-Service (DSaaS) – hardware, software, and updates
  10. Digital signage content management
  11. Email hosting
  12. Facebook/social media services
  13. Firewall management
  14. Gift cards
  15. Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS)
  16. Hardware preventative maintenance
  17. Hardware rental
  18. Internet service
  19. Lighting management
  20. Loyalty program
  21. Maintenance agreement – phone and remote support
  22. Managed antivirus
  23. Managed print
  24. Managed services
  25. Menu management
  26. Mobile device management
  27. Network management
  28. Online ordering
  29. Patch management
  30. Payment processing
  31. Payment processing surcharging, cash discounting, and NCA (non-cash adjustment)
  32. Payroll integration/payroll services
  33. PCI assistance
  34. Phone system management
  35. POS-as-a-Service (PaaS) – HaaS and SaaS bundle
  36. Receipt content management
  37. Remote monitoring
  38. Remote access
  39. Reservation software
  40. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
  41. Security-as-a-Service
  42. Text message marketing
  43. Web hosting
  44. Website services/online content management
  45. Wi-Fi
  46. Wi-Fi marketing

Visit the RSPA Solution Center – a web platform designed to connect VARs and ISVs to providers of innovative solutions

About the list:

  • I don’t know of any VARs who are offering all 46 of these products and services. This list is a compilation of products/services that have been implemented across several retail IT VARs in North America.
  • I’ve shared this list at industry events, online, and via social media with retail IT VARs and ISVs, and they’ve used it to determine where to go next – which two, three, or four offerings they will pursue during the next quarter. You can’t start by implementing “all of the above”; determine how much your organization and your customers can digest in the near-term.
  • You might currently offer some of these services at no charge. Be brave and put a price on the value you’re providing. One RSPA VAR member took this tactic to heart after I shared this list during a presentation at Inspire. Two months later, at an ISV partner conference, the VAR flagged me down to say, “I keep your list on my desk to help me figure out what we should offer next. Two things we were already doing for free – but not anymore. Your list is already making me money!”
  • There isn’t one universal correct answer as to which product or service you should focus on next. For some hospitality VARs, it might be wise to offer online ordering. But if you have skills in web design and social media, you might want to offer website and Facebook services first. Or your roots might be in telecom, so the next right move for you might be phone system management. If you’re in grocery, offering text message marketing could make you a hero to your merchants by saving them money because they no longer need to print and mail flyers. VARs who serve bars may want to offer cellular failover to prevent customer downtime on busy weekend evenings.

This list should trigger more than just a mental exercise for you and your team. If you’re reviewing this list, nodding in agreement, and then going back to sell the same things you’ve always offered the same way to the same customers, you’re making a mistake that harms the future relevance of your business.

Take time during the next business day or two to determine which products and services you’ll investigate. Then, over the next one or two weeks, conduct online research, consult with your customers, and talk with solution provider colleagues, vendors, and distributors about the products/services you’re considering. (And feel free to include me as a resource. I’m part of the RSPA team that offers Business Advisory Services to VAR and ISV members.)

Next, conduct an experiment with the products and services that best fit you and your customers. Try them out. Test them. Measure the outcomes. Implement changes. Continue experimenting. Measure the outcomes again. Integrate the offering into your linecard and marketing materials, and then train up your sales team. Then rinse and repeat with a new item or two from the list. This process isn’t magic, but it’s essentially what the most successful, growing, profitable retail IT VARs are doing today.

I’ve made the list. Now it’s your job to check it twice and begin making progress towards greater profits and predictable revenue.

Don’t forget to visit the RSPA Solution Center – a web platform designed to connect VARs and ISVs to providers of innovative solutions

Jim Roddy is the Vice President of Marketing and a Business Advisor for the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA). He has been active in the POS channel since 1998, including 11 years as the President of Business Solutions Magazine, six years as an RSPA board member, one term as RSPA Chairman of the Board, and several years as a business coach for VARs, ISVs, and MSPs. Jim has been recognized as one of the world’s Top 100 Retail Influencers by RETHINK Retail, a Leading CannaTech Influencer by 420MSP, and is regularly requested to speak at industry conferences on SMB best practices. He is author of two books – The Walk-On Method To Career & Business Success and Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer – and is host of the award-winning RSPA Trusted Advisor podcast. For more information, contact