Owning the Data Highway

By: Velda Goodin, Manager, Technical Services and Solutions at ScanSource

Since hardware margins started shrinking, channel VARs as well as IT providers have been scrambling to find new revenue opportunities.  The technology territory lines have been blurred and IT providers are moving into our channel space and VARs are considering taking on more traditional IT responsibilities in order to regain revenue lost.  Services are quickly becoming the lifeline for profitability: remote managed services, payment processing services, data storage services.  With so many services being accessible and scalable because of the Cloud, the possibilities are endless.

There is one very important, necessary component of any business solution.  It’s also the most crucial and usually overlooked opportunity for VAR revenue: providing carrier services. Every business needs connectivity whether it is internet accessibility, data, voice, 4G, wired or wireless.  Someone is providing these services and it ought to be YOU.  You may recognize data carrier services by proprietary names such as AT&T, Verizon or Sprint.  Bottom line, business today is driven by data and the ability to send and receive is data fundamental to all its operations.

Consider all the technologies a company is utilizing: mobile devices, accessing software through a browser, online services, the internet, cloud data storage, digital phone systems, payment processing, customers using personal devices, wireless networks, email services, POS systems communicating with Cloud servers, data capture devices, communicating with an ERP system, IOT data, RMS (Remote Management Services), MDM (Mobile Device Management).  Every one of these functions need to send and/or receive data which flows through a carrier service. 

Here’s your opportunity: resell carrier services.  You know your customer and their business so help evaluate their need and facilitate providing it.  Does the location have optimal bandwidth to support all the data flowing in and out of the building?  Does the business need 4G connectivity also? Or instead?  What about security around those connections?  You probably don’t have the skillset, knowledge or capacity within your organization to deliver the answers, so enlist an agent who knows this space.  You can quickly become invaluable partners by enabling the ability to offer this service to ALL of your customers: both current and future. 

Own all the technologies and IT your customers use.  But also own the data connection.