for VAR’, IT Solution Providers and Managed Service Providers
On a frigid and foggy Christmas Eve, a shrewd, hardworking, good-spirited businessperson named Vincent Andrew Reseller, his friends used to call him VAR, works meticulously in his counting-house. Outside the office creaks a little sign reading "Legacy ITSP & MSP" - Jacob Marley, Reseller's business partner, has died seven years previous. Inside the office, Reseller watches over his CFO, a poor diminutive man named Bob Cratchit who shows him the latest ledger – “Bah! Humbug!”
Reseller follows the same old routine, taking dinner in his usual tavern and returning home through the dismal, fog-blanketed streets of his town.
Reseller opens the door and trudges into his bleak quarters. He makes little effort to brighten his home: "darkness is cheap, and Reseller liked it." As he plods up the wide staircase, Reseller, in utter disbelief, sees a subscription-based locomotive hearse climbing the stairs beside him.
The wraith that next appears tells Reseller that he has come from beyond the grave to save him from this very fate. He says that Reseller will be visited by three spirits…
The Ghost of Christmas Past
Duck, figgie pudding and crazy parties that never seemed to end – it was fantastic coming of age when there was thick margins in hardware and product and services were almost a throwaway.
Sure, things changed in the business as we went from child to teenager and teenager to young adult.
There were always transitions that needed to be dealt with along the journey.
Mainframe to Mini, Mini to PC, and PC to Internet – we handled them all. Turns out services were not a throwaway, they’ve become one of our major profit pools.
It was hard and we changed a little growing-up, but our core beliefs are still intact. We are a little older, wiser and on some days slightly jaded. But we built a heck of a business.
We remain unfazed even though the Ghost of Christmas Past opened our eyes to what it was really like verses how we remember it.
The Ghost of Christmas Present
You are a little grayer and perhaps wrinkled, but as an adult business looks good and the outlook could not be better – we are still growing!
So why is The Ghost of Christmas Present at your side painting a picture that you just cannot believe? It’s a picture of doom and gloom. He shows you vision and hard facts of the cloud and digital services and how they’re eating into the traditional spend of your core business.
You’d heard many times from your strategic vendors and industry prognosticators that the cloud computing era was upon us, but it was going to affect others – not you…
Now I’m mad and bitter, how can my customers be outlining, researching and consuming monthly services without me?
Don’t they know I’m there trusted advisor? I worked hard to earn that self-imposed position - they were supposed to call me when they were contemplating any move. Well, they weren’t that great a customer anyway and we should have fired them years ago…
What’s that Ghost of Christmas Ghost Present, there is more? Many of my clients are by-passing me because I don’t look like an onramp to the cloud and have not become recurring revenue friendly.
Take me from the present, I don’t want to see anymore...
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
I’m truly rattled, but it’s alright. The premonitions of the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present were just providing more of the crap I’ve been hearing for a few years now.
Business has never been better…
What, who’s that? The Ghost of Christmas Future, you’ve got to be kidding me. You want to show me what things will look like in three (3) years? No, no, no I don’t want to see what is to come!
I don’t recognize most of the Partners at this Christmas Partner Summit. Why is my old laptop and scaly cap at that empty chair? First Tiny Tim gets it and now me. This is bullshit!
The Ghost of Christmas Future continues to show you the shrunken figures that were once the muscular hulks of transaction-based businesses. Many had thought the recurring revenue and cloud era was just a bunch of hooey. Or worse, they thought they could make the transition quickly, only to find it’s a 12 – 18 month journey and they did not have the will or stamina to take on the challenge.
You can’t bear to look as competitors you’ve never heard of pick through the business that was once your pride and joy…
Take me away from all this Ghost – it is just too painful to watch…
The Morning After
You wake from the nightmare, but you know it was all too real. You run to the window and open the sash and yell down to the young born in the cloud millennial “what day is it”?
She responds “The day you begin preparing for next Christmas”! You’ll need the year to commit, assess and begin the journey towards adding a truly solid and profitable subscription-based recurring revenue component to your overall business mix.
But don’t worry there are people who are blazing a trail for their partners and helping them make the move to a recurring revenue friendly business model.
Veeam (@veeam) and VMware (@VMware) who, like Microsoft (@Azure), are at the forefront of driving partner profitability via their superior subscription-based cloud offerings. Their focus and support of channel partners business transformation is critical and showcases the importance placed on partners committed to grow recurring revenue streams – profitably.
Also, look to Westcon | Comstor (@WestconComstor) who are running some really interesting business focused programs designed to help their customers make the changes in their business that will ensure they are productive and profitable in the cloud and managed services.
You thank her and throw down a fully loaded Starbuck’s (@Starbucks) Gift Card and wish her well.
You get dressed and head to the office with the actual conviction, bullheaded determination an attitude required to get your fair share and more of this multi-billion dollar opportunity.
You woke up in enough time to write your own story instead of being written out of someone else’s script… Much luck on your journey!
Remain Calm and Cloud On…