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March 2009 | Volume 12/ Number 3
Enterprise View

A Reseller Educational Series: Success in Selling = Sell What Customers Want to Buy

The above statement may sound obvious and simplistic. However, the reality of today’s market dictates that your current mix of products and services may not be highly appealing to today’s customers so reseller business models need to be re-evaluated. The balance between products and services is a good starting point and must be closely examined. Budget constraints and a reduction in the work force may make Hosted Services (HS) more appealing than Customer Premise Solutions (CPE). The convenience, cost saving, ongoing support and time to go operational are all major advantages of hosted solutions. As a reseller, you need to consider if a full or partial shift away from CPE solutions is right for your organization.

Of course, moving to an “all hosted” product suite may take time and may not fit all customers. The answer — create a hybrid. Let’s begin with some facts:

  1. HS are generally billed on a monthly basis so the initial capital expenditure is minimal.
  2. HS requires minimal setup procedures so the time to go operational is short.
  3. HS requires minimal in-house expertise to maintain and product updates are automatic.
  4. HS generally require less physical equip and provide better redundancy.

Hybrid Response:

  1. Offer leasing programs.
  2. Do what my company does and have pre-staged solutions that can be dropped shipped and the final configurations can be done remotely.
  3. Offer remote hosted services that include full support and remote installation of updates and upgrades.
  4. Offer a product mix of “virtualized solutions” to minimize equipment requirements and also require less energy for a cost saving Green Solution. In addition, some products have both CPE and hosted capabilities so a fully compatible hosted backup can be offered as an insurance policy.

Fortunately, all of the above are feasible and I work daily with resellers offering some or all of the hybrid components. This is the 21st Century after all and proven VoIP, FoIP, Unified Communications (News - Alert) and virtual products that are architected to deliver high-quality solutions are readily available. IT

Max Schroeder is the Senior Vice President of FaxCore (News - Alert), Inc. (

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