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Revenue opportunities for resellers in BYOD

01 Nov 2011

The bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon is pervasive, with mobility and the consumerisation of IT increasingly defining the modern workplace. Businesses’ appetite for mobility is increasing as users drive demand to access data and applications from their personal mobile devices. As the BYOD trend takes hold, more and more businesses are finding their employees accessing company email, files and applications on their personal smartphones and tablets and, as a result, taking critical data outside the boundaries of the office. Resellers are uniquely positioned to assist businesses to extend robust IT systems management to these devices, with the same eye for control as they do desktops and servers. In the midst of this trend’s growth, there is scope for resellers to play a vital educational role and, in doing so, best leverage this trend to maximise revenue streams. BYOD educators Resellers are well placed to educate existing and future customers about the business benefits of moving toward a mobility model, the logistics of undertaking such a change and how best to manage mobility devices for business continuity, accessibility and security. Customer education is the best way resellers can demonstrate a proactive response to the BYOD trend. In setting the agenda for businesses’ consideration of what workplace mobility means for them, resellers can gain increased revenue from adding mobility management software to their portfolio. In this way, they can simultaneously respond to and generate interest in BYOD, to ride the wave of the trend as the IT paradigm shifts. When broaching the BYOD conversation with customers, resellers should focus on helping businesses become forward looking and future proofed. Resellers should emphasise that failure to anticipate, adapt and plan properly (by following a change management process) will leave them less adaptive to how the modern workforce is doing business. This failure to keep up with modern IT leaves companies not only less attractive to the younger tech-savvy workforce, but more importantly, lacking the productivity and security measures that are so important to competitive advantage. Managed service Options The IT departments hesitancy to embrace BYOD, understandably, has been focused on the nightmare of trying to keep up with and manage so many different types of devices, all with their own (or sometimes without) management systems. However, they are still tasked with the need to keep data secure, costs down and employees’ productivity up. This is good news for resellers. Traditional managed services can now be extended to encompass mobile devices, so resellers can manage these just like any other end point. A reseller who charges per end point device can double or even triple revenue by extending the management of customers’ desktops and servers to the management of their iPads, iPhones and/or Android phones, all from one management console. Resellers should look for an automated solution which handles the inherent mobile device challenges of email configuration, back-up, asset visibility and inventory. It should also provide granular access to devices with sophisticated security controls which permit remote tracking, wiping and alarming. This functionality allows resellers to allay customer concerns by showcasing their ability to mitigate risk. Resellers who offer break-fix models should look at offering managed services to diversify their business from box selling. Beyond the obvious differences in the margins of hardware versus consulting, an ongoing relationship with customers builds both trust for future purchases and an annuity stream. The bottom line for resellers? BYOD means new devices for managed services revenue streams, so the time is now to get out and start talking to customers about their mobility needs!