Not long ago, the industry wondered if the advent of cloud computing would make a large part of the value that distributors created for partners redundant. In fact, the need for distributors remains strong, and may even be growing as secure cloud computing poses a new world of challenges for solution providers to address. The ubiquity of the mobile workforce, cloud-based social media, and the changing shape of global security threats mean that there is an ever-growing body of technology and knowledge necessary for keeping enterprises secure. Security distributors are key in managing this complexity.
In addition to providing an important route to deliver high-quality security solutions to the enterprises that need them, security distributors can also enable highly profitable partnerships. The following three ways that working with security distributors can yield higher margins demonstrate that a healthy relationship with a security distributor makes sense—not just in terms of providing quality service to customers, but also in terms of the bottom line.
1. One-Stop Sourcing and Better Deal Terms
Assembling a portfolio from disparate vendors may seem like a profitable way to partner, but such practices can create minefields of potential margin-sapping dilemmas. Additional costs such as product shipping from different vendors can add up, as can other expenses that arise in the course of maintaining deals with multiple vendors. Security distributors managing vendor relationships and logistics can provide deal terms that are both better and clearer. Furthermore, if distributors have exclusive access to certain security solutions by particular vendors, working outside of a security distributor may put a reseller in the position of looking elsewhere to compete with the top line. Trying to get a customer a stopgap solution to fill a need rather than the industry standard could be more expensive, thus cutting into margins. It also may result in needing to implement workarounds to make disparate security solutions stand in for a high-quality one, which can have all sorts of unforeseen costs attached.
2. Staying on the Bleeding Edge, Tech-Wise and Deal-Wise
A security distributor can reliably point a reseller in the direction of the latest high-margin technology trends and the best markets to approach for high margins. Security distributors can also provide partners with access to lucrative and exclusive deals that are out of the range of a reseller not using a distributor—for example, long-term IT service contracts with the federal government. These sorts of elite contracts and deal structures have the potential to provide an ROI above and beyond what might be available to channel partners working through other avenues.
3. Effective Solutions and Streamlined Processes
One of the most effective ways to increase margins in selling security solutions is obvious: Provide customers with good service. The effectiveness of a security solution, from implementation to ongoing support, is a margin builder. Selling security solutions that don’t address an enterprise’s real needs or that are based a trend in security that doesn’t pan out can leave customers wondering what they are paying for. Working through a security distributor can help assure a reseller that the security solutions provided are the right ones, and that they are managed correctly.
Security distributors can provide access to a range of distributor-managed tools and to such options as helpdesk support and certified tech professionals. If a reseller has this level of tech expertise in its arsenal, it has the clear upper hand over those without access to the same range of supplementary services. Access to these tools results in a higher level of quality for the customer, which results in longer, healthier partner relationships and additional sales, and, ultimately, yields higher margins.
Are there relationships you have in place that could benefit margin-wise from working with a security distributor?