NETprotocol’s Managed Service offers increased ROI

Vendor says resellers must realise importance of managed services to win back custom from online rivals

Networking vendor NETGEAR has said that resellers can win back customers from online competition by offering more managed services, rather than just selling products.

Peter Hannah, Netgear’s regional director of UK, Ireland, and the Nordics, highlighted the challenges that e-commerce poses to resellers as the number of tech savvy customers buying online increases.

He added that, although there may be a “bit of fear” in the channel regarding managed services in terms of the amount of time and resources resellers think they will have to invest in developing a solution, it is a good way of luring customers back from e-commerce sites.

Hannah said: “The traditional product sales cycle that has been used for years – get a lead, qualify, convert it to an opportunity, sell the benefits, negotiate the price, close the deal – has started to change as more customers make a lot of decisions themselves, even down to what price they want to pay – due to the fact the e-commerce sites advertise strong pricing.”

Research body eMarketer reported last month that annual UK retail e-commerce sales are expected to exceed £60bn in 2015, and grow to £86.96bn by 2019. Although the research also suggested that growth rate was set to slow down from 14.5 per cent this year to 8.3 per cent in 2019.

But Hannah stresses that e-commerce is here to stay, saying: “The threat to resellers will remain unless they develop their own business models accordingly. Resellers must consult more with customers, understand pain points, lead them to solutions – not products – and start to sell services.

“That’s why things like deal registration and partner programmes are so important; resellers can secure discounts not only to beat single product pricing online, but also to add more margin into their own businesses.”

Geoff Hall, a partner at Netgear reseller J&G Systems said: “With Netgear products you need the expertise of a reseller that is skilled and understands the products properly – we add the bits that are missing if you buy from a box shifter.”

Matt Widdowson, commercial director at Netgear partner NETprotocol, added: “It’s healthy for the customer to investigate market costs and ensure they are getting a return on their IT investment. It can sometimes be frustrating, but it’s rare we lose out. Our managed services offering will always differentiate us.”

Article courtesy of Phil Tottman at CRN, visit www.channelweb.co.uk for other IT related news.

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