While chatting with reseller Eurodata last week, a term was bought to my attention, which sounds as though it has come straight out of a marketing handbook and yet would solve one of the most perplexing issues currently hounding the channel.
Everyone has heard of outsourcing and insourcing, where services are either offloaded and performed outside the core company, or bought back in to be carried out by the firm in-house.
These days any function can be outsourced, ranging from marketing to the maintenance of an entire IT system. However, the perennial problem for many resellers is that most SMEs – while they do not have the budget or staff to operate a fully functional in-house IT department – are hesitant to outsource operations that are essentially critical to their business.
SMEs are reluctant to rely so heavily on anyone else to handle all of their
IT systems. They are also concerned that outsourcing can lead to company job
losses, and they are unlikely to trust anyone else to handle all of their
The answer is co-sourcing. This is not a new idea (a search on Google revealed 31 million results), but it is one that most channel players will need to adopt if they are to penetrate the SME market.
Co-sourcing is a system where certain aspects of a firm’s IT are outsourced to a VAR: the email system or the data storage, for example. This has an inherent comfort-factor built into it to calm any SME’s fears or trust issues. They maintain control over their business-critical applications and data while the VAR’s services can slot in where necessary.
VARs that begin to adopt this softly-softly approach will rapidly gain trust from SME customers, which in the long term could lead to an increasing number of IT services being co-sourced, and therefore a much more fruitful deal.
Automation firms UiPath and Automation Anywhere close out their funding rounds with $265m and $300m respectively
View photos of last night's awards ceremony in London
View photos of all the winners from the 2018 Channel Awards
After a glittering awards evening in Battersea celebrating 25 years of the Awards, we are pleased to share the list of winners and judges' commended winners