The past months have shown an acceleration in managed services to support the shift from customers’ demand for IT services. Of the 302 channel partners surveyed by Canalys last month, 32 percent of respondents reported that managed services would represent more than 30% of their revenue in 2022. But developing and selling one or multiple managed services come with challenges, especially as budget may hold you back. Here are three critical inflection points when flexible payment solutions can help you along in the journey to implementing and selling managed services.
Phase 1: Implementation
Developing your managed services practice will help you support the creation of a recurring revenue model while growing your profitability. But before you get started, you will need to answer questions very much related to the implementation phase such as how to make upfront strategic investments and invest cash at a time where your customers’ consumption might not be contracted? Or how to alleviate credit and payment risks for solutions and services that would be delivered over time? The fluctuations in exchange rates and the current challenges in the global supply chain add another layer of complexity when kick starting a managed services business.
There is a gap between the technology investment that you need to support the managed services agreement contracted with your customer, and the income generated from the services you deliver on a per-month basis. Leveraging payment solutions can help you transform from traditional resellers to delivering high value managed services by streamlining the payment associated to the technology acquisition and match the income with the outcome.
Payment solutions can also help you bundle your services into a predictable payment and build them from the bottom-up: with a price per month for the infrastructure, on top of which you can add your layer of services to your customers. Depending on the type of services you are considering, payment solutions are available, from payment over time to lifecycle, to a full consumption model that will look at specific services. The breadth of Cisco’s payment solutions portfolio can support your transformation to managed services, no matter your delivery model.
Phase 2: Expansion and the Customer Lifecycle
Traditional buying models are shifting to more managed services due to customers now looking to consume technologies in simpler ways. While your customers are eager to drive their business transformation with the latest technologies, their teams might not be as keen -or staffed- to become operational experts. Are you wondering where to start with so many managed services use cases to consider?
Last year, Canalys provocatively suggested that managed services providers are the main threat vector for businesses and that cybersecurity should be their top priority. To offer the appropriate level of security to your customers and to guarantee reliable recurring revenue, you need to find not only a vendor, but a long-term partner. As you must think not only in terms of technology, but also how your vendor is helping you acquire, get trained and support the technology you need. Whether you embrace a SecureX platform approach or consider bundled technologies or a-la-carte software to build upon, Cisco’s payment solutions can support regardless of how many solutions or architectures are executed or delivered.
The shift to more managed services is also juxtaposed to your customers’ shift to software and subscription models, introducing a lifecycle approach. As opposed to traditional technology purchases where a technology was used to answer a specific need at a specific time, managed services will help you answer your customers’ future needs by activating a new service on top of the current services agreement. Flexible payment solutions will help you make sure that your customers find the same payment predictability throughout their contract, no matter their services expansion.
Phase 3: Renewals
In this new lifecycle approach, customers’ renewals are a critical part of your revenue planning and business. To retain them, you need to keep your customers focused on their technology adoption. By giving them – and the finance team- the predictability they need, Cisco flexible payment solutions will help your customers concentrate on what matters the most: usage (and their satisfaction).
Renewals also imply billing and collecting new revenue from managed services on your side. And this will generate a new administrative burden that your organization might not be prepared/sized for. Payment solutions allow you to transfer this burden to us, also helping you to focus on selling and your customers’ adoption.
According to Canalys, 55% of companies have only started to automate some of their managed services processes and operations or are yet to start. Your journey to implementing managed services is an exciting one, and Cisco is committed to support you every step of the way. Be sure to leverage flexible payment solutions to develop a sustainable business.
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