By Christine Kern, contributing writer
Customer objections to managed services are changing, and a panel of managed services providers (MSPs) and VARs at Channel Transitions VAR/MSP Executive Conference offered advice on how to respond. The event, powered by Business Solutions, was held Sept. 24 at the DoubleTree Chicago-Downers Grove.
Panelists included Chris Rumpf, owner of Rumpf Computer Solutions; Bruce Nelson, president of Vertical Solutions; and Karl Palachuk, owner of Small Biz Thoughts and author of author of 15 books, including Managed Services in a Month and the four-volume Managed Services Operations Manual.
Rumpf explained, “The objections are a lot different now, and they don’t come as much as they did. A year ago, it was, ‘Why would I do this when I can lease?’ The objections that we get now are basically only along the line of people that really want something shiny that they can hold forever and want to own something.” Rumpf Computer Solutions provides Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS), and when customers object to not owning the hardware, Rumpf’s response is that ownership is not really that important to the clients in the long run. “The way this business model works, is we, as providers, make it so that there is a huge uptime improvement for the customer. If we can increase the uptime for the customer, they make more money — every outage costs money,” he explains. “In return, we make our profit by reducing the amount of labor that has to go in to supporting these customers. So, by using remote tools and automation, you can reduce the number of man hours that are expended to manage the same customer.”
Nelson says addresses Vertical Solutions hears now are more around pricing and bundling. “We need to make sure that we’re helping them understand where our value is, even though the server isn’t in their building anymore.”
Palachuk added, “Today, I think the objections are around the cloud — storage is moving to the cloud, email is moving to the cloud — and all of the objections are around security because of breaches in the headlines.”
“You have to be prepared with answers,” Palachuk said. “There was a time when you had to convince people to use electricity; there was a time when you had to convince them to use the Internet, now there’s a time when you have to convince them to use the cloud. Nobody would consider running their business without the Internet, but 20 ago that was a sale. It’s just a matter of being prepared with those answers.”
For more information on the Channel Transitions VAR/MSP Executive Conference, visit www.ChannelTransitions.comor email Events@BSMinfo.com. Channel Transitions will also be held on November 5 in Orlando, FL.
Channel Transitions is sponsored by platinum sponsors MAXfocus, and Worldpay, gold sponsors Harbortouch and Webroot, and networking sponsors Great America, Mercury, and Moneris, along with industry association partners CompTIA, The ASCII Group, and the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA).