Archives For revenue

The Ipad – Here are some sound bites: (Source: Wall Street Journal)

1 year old

90% market share

14.8 million devices sold

9.5 Billion in revenue in one year!

200 Million Apple Accounts world wide

And a new version out this month while the competition is still scrambling to compete with the first  release.

Innovation is key.  At the 2011 RSA conference, one of the most interesting presentations came from the founder of Palo Alto, Nir Zuk.  He talked about innovation, and repeatedly asked his audience who was using what – brands of cell phones, operating systems, etc.  Through this interaction he showed that many of the technology leaders just aren’t innovating any more, and people are moving to new technology – following the innovators.  These companies that lack innovation stand to lose significant market share if they continue.  This is a wake up call…not just to those with an iPad look-a-like, but for Microsoft and anyone else with significant market share.  Companies that are innovating will win over time.  The problem is, many of these new innovations compete with the margins resellers have depended on!

Example:  How many resellers are still selling PCs to make a profit.  Perhaps yours doesn’t, but there are thousands of SMB focused resellers still in this game.  Will they start selling iPads?  Well, maybe, but that is not very strategic.  A $500 device, already set up with an operating system that doesn’t require a daily reboot to recover from the blue-screen isn’t going to make up for the loss.  And with other technologies commoditizing and companies like Google putting free tools online (Have you tried Google Apps?), the market is bound to change – expect resellers to be out of business within a year if they are waiting on the economy to pick up, hoping to be placed back into the business they drove two years ago.

Innovation for Apple means, new cool looking products that appeal to the new mobile generation.  But to the reseller and high-tech sales person, it means finding new ways to help clients innovate, automate, secure, and become efficient.  It means finding new areas to help companies with technology that puts them ahead of their competition and cuts cost out of their current IT program.  And it means helping them secure what they have before they lose everything.

© 2011, David Stelzl

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Lots of channel talk out there…Juniper is revamping reseller training online to address complaints from their channel, Fortinet coming out with an MSSP program, probably in response to the SMB and midmarket growth in managed services offerings – of course all of the AV companies out there are doing this or headed that way, and numerous comments on the CRN forums concerning whether partners should be exclusive or committed to one vendor in a given area.  The problem with just about all of the programs out there is this: Vendors are not always addressing the root problem – resellers need more GP (Gross Profit).  This won’t come through install services, and increasing product sales doesn’t necessarily mean more GP either.  Sales must come earlier in the sales cycle with shorter sales cycles driven by high touch solutions, consulting, and low cost of sales in terms of people resources.  So what do channel managers need to do?

  • Understand the reseller profit model – it’s nothing like the vendor’s…
  • Provide sales training that focuses on selling, not speeds and feeds
  • Help resellers build your technology into solutions that drag other product areas within that reseller
  • Learn about marketing and help/support VAR marketing efforts
  • Clarify how deals are protected from direct reps and competition
  • Don’t over distribute which hurts the street price
  • Remember that GP is what matters – not revenue.