If you’re a company that isn’t accustomed to selling and supporting service-level agreements, it can be a tough transition. Business software provider ConnectWise knows that, and it aims to help, according to manager of low voltage sales John Fry.
First, let’s look at the challenge.
On one hand, the AV integration market is relatively healthy, according to our 2018 State of the Industry report. Based on Commercial Integrator’s and NSCA’s annual Integration Business Outlook Survey, more than a third of surveyed integrators and consultants expect their revenues to grow at least 11 percent this year and based on the collected data Commercial Integrator predicts that the industry will grow by 9.45 percent in 2018.
There is one problem with the overall findings, however. While most takeaways are overwhelmingly positive, there was “one disappointment,” said NSCA executive director Chuck Wilson, in the report. When it comes to the industry’s well-established need to transition from traditional project- and –product-based revenue to more of a service-revenue model, “we’re stuck,” he says.
A disappointing 20 percent report that they earn nothing – a big, fat zero — via managed services contracts. Nearly a third, 30 percent, earn only 1-5 percent of their revenue via service contract.
“It sure seems like people are aware of the need to transform into a managed services company but they still struggle with it,” Wilson said. “They are struggling with figuring out who is going to be responsible for the transition within their firm. How do you do it?”
That is precisely where ConnectWise comes in, explained Fry in a recent interview with CI. “It’s a different way for them to do business,” he said. “They’re struggling to understand the types of packages that you put together, how to sell those packages. If they don’t truly see the value themselves, how could they sell it to others?”
Then there are the obstacles that are particularly tricky for traditional revenue model companies to figure out:
- How do they track the service-level agreements?
- How do they handle tracking time?
- How do they handle billing?
- What if someone calls with an issue?
- How do they track and dispatch?
“ConnectWise can help with all those things with the inherent functionality within the platform,” Fry says. However, “probably more important than anything else, we have a very vibrant idea-sharing community.
“It’s pretty amazing to see our partners come together at ConnectWise or industry related events and truly work to help each other in all facets of their business.”
Watch the video interview above to see Fry’s full comment on how ConnectWise can help integration firms get over the managed services hump — or see the full interview here.