The world of software solutions represents a fully stocked pond into which dealers can cast their lines. From print and feet management to document management and all things IT, there’s no lack of opportunities for resellers to look beyond the box at a time when MFP procurement is still struggling in its return to normal.
As part of this month’s State of the Industry focus on software, our dealer panel examines which solutions have been resonating the most with clients. A common denominator, as you will see, revolves around the ability of end-users to accomplish more with fewer resources.
Dustin Bonn, solutions sales director for St. Cloud, Minnesota-based Marco, sees the Microsoft suite (beyond the standard productivity platform) offers unlimited possibilities, as does cybersecurity and process automation tools. Bonn points out that while process automation can enable clients to save 1,000 labor hours, it’s not money savings per se, but it does allow them to furnish enhanced and quicker service without the need for added personnel.
“Because clients aren’t so focused on price point or direct savings and are thinking more about the big picture, we are able to have more conversations about products that help their businesses be more resilient, more responsive, and more secure,” he added.
Integration, data and business intelligence are three areas that rank near the top of client want lists, according to Brad Rozmarynowski, executive account manager and partner for Impact Networking of Lake Forest, Illinois. SMBs, in particular, crave access to tools that can provide dashboarding and reporting functions to make business decisions.
Helping clients gather business-critical data in an easily digestible format “under a single pane of glass” can go a long way for dealers. “Microsoft Power BI is a great example; it’s already built into your Office 365 licensing, so there isn’t necessarily additional licensing costs to have it,” Rozmarynowski said. “But there’s a tremendous opportunity for the dealers to build professional services out and manage it.”
Being mindful of the older demographic is key, as they are being compelled to significantly change the way they think and do business, according to Sean Bell, president of Solutions YES in Portland, Oregon. In the short term, he sees greater adoption of cloud print/scan/fax solutions.
Document management isn’t far behind. “As today’s 40-year-olds take charge of decision-making, I think we’ll see widespread adoption of document management solutions,” he added.
The one area where Edwards Business Systems of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania has witnessed substantial growth is in voice-over IP (VoIP) communications systems, courtesy of Konica Minolta. With business messaging and voicemail-to-email conversions, among other functionality, it’s more than simply a phone solution.
The myriad of possibilities in cybersecurity cannot be overstated, according to Dan Lamborn, IT services sales specialist. SentinelOne’s upgraded antivirus solution is a prime example.
“It allows us to have restoration points within the PCs; what Datto does at the server level for restoration points, SentinelOne provides it on a PC level,” Lamborn said. “That allows us to restore the PC if it gets infected with ransomware. SentinelOne has been a great asset as it provides a lot higher level of support, backed by its million-dollar guarantee per organization. If a client gets hit with ransomware and we’re not able to eradicate and remove the virus, SentinelOne will pay up to a million dollars per organization or $1,000 per machine. They really put their money where their mouth is.”
Automating processes to make them less people based has been the focal point for The Swenson Group of Livermore, California. Repeatable, scalable solutions are particularly vital in an era that is justifiably concerned about employee headcount, according to President Dean Swenson.
“If you can utilize a software solution in accounts payable, for example, you can automate invoice payments without adding headcount,” he said. “If I can automate certain aspects and make my team more productive and improve accuracy, that can help to avoid new hires.”
The workflow and automation spaces are two critical offerings that can yield prime opportunities for dealers, according to Justin Drabouski, director of managed services for Fraser Advanced Information Systems of West Reading, Pennsylvania.
“Our primary goal is to provide software solutions that support the business objectives of our clients and provide value with our ability to integrate and manage those solutions to create a seamless technology environment,” he said.