As an IT professional, a lot of your customer engagements focus on hardware and software technology. However, if you’re not also talking to your clients about—and adding—services to your hardware and software sales, you’re missing out on a lucrative opportunity.
Selling services extends your customer interaction beyond a product sales relationship. It provides comprehensive, strategic and innovative solutions that allow you to play a greater role in your customers’ success. In addition, selling services offers the opportunity to earn higher margins generating a recurring revenue stream through the sale of service renewals. A typical service gross margin for a Cisco partner running a successful service business is 18% to 25%.
Why customers need Cisco services
Technical services offer an excellent way for your customers to increase the value and efficiencies of their IT investments. For example, Cisco services:
- Ensure network security and compliance. Fewer than 5% of service requests to the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) relate to product defects. Most are for configuration and other issues not covered by a product warranty. Without access to the TAC (included with Cisco Smart Net Total Care services), customers must figure out these issues on their own or pay for a la carte support, which typically entails time and material rates starting at $400 per hour. Network services also provide greater network visibility and control. Your customers will know what’s on their network, that it’s configured properly and that it works.
- Reduce downtime risk and costs. Companies lose an average of $150K per year due to network downtime and 50% of IT outages damage companies’ reputations. With Cisco services, these threats along with business and financial risks associated with noncompliance are lessened along with data compliance risks uncovered through audit reporting. Plus, by having fewer network incidents, your customers can free up their IT personnel to focus on core projects.
- Deliver service excellence. Cisco customers with service contracts were 82.7% truly loyal vs. customers without contracts who were 70% loyal. Cisco technical services also enable faster deployment of strategic projects at reduced cost, which helps increase competitiveness and time to market.
And, here’s what’s in it for your
Use TPV/PXP to manage your Attach and Renew opportunities
- Predictable and renewable revenue—Technical service agreements aren’t just a high profit revenue stream; they typically span three years, creating predictable revenue for your business. And by arranging for all Cisco Smart Net Total Care service contracts to be renewed at the same time (i.e., cotermination), you’ll reduce the time account managers and customers spend negotiating contract renewals.
- A platform to build on the customer relationship—With the customizable Smart Net Total Care portal, you can view support information for your customers, such as critical device, contract and alerts data, when and how you want to.
- Upsell opportunities—By having better visibility of your customers’ networks, you’ll more easily be able to identify areas where they could benefit from additional solutions and services.
- Increase customer satisfaction—Knowing that their networks are consistently secure and running fast increases customer loyalty.
- Trusted advisor status—Pursuing renewal opportunities with your existing customers enables you to reengage and keep informed about their business challenges, uncover new opportunities and position yourself as a trusted business partner.
To help partners keep track of services more easily, Cisco created Total Program View (TPV)
. Located in the Global Navigation Bar, TPV consolidates data from multiple sources for a single view of partner programs. TPV will be the primary source for partners and Cisco to obtain the status of ongoing program performance in terms of booking metrics and payments.
Sometime after Cisco’s FY22 year end, TPV will be replaced by the Partner Experience Platform (PXP)
. PXP delivers predictive analytics, actionable insights and guided selling experiences driving your growth and margin improvements. Partner registration, certification and specialization renewals will also migrate to PXP, so you can manage your Cisco Partner Program credentials and business in one place with a single login.
Quoting and ordering Cisco services through Ingram Micro
The Ingram Micro team is here to make the process easy and seamless for you. We’ll start by helping you figure out which Cisco services will best address your customers’ needs. Then we’ll manage the quoting, ordering and contracts for you—always making sure you and your customers are getting the most value from your service option. Contact the Ingram Micro Cisco Services team and schedule a consultation today: (800) 456-8000, ext. 76475, or via email.