ROI for all

By Channel Insider Staff  |  Print this article Print

Return-on-investment calculations may have been more about marketing than substance in the past, but increasingly customers want solution providers to produce provable numbers.

Although customer size drastically affects the sale, solution providers find that customers of all sizes want to understand how IT initiatives will pay for themselves. Large customers want help understanding the long-range benefits of complex IT solutions.

"These are very complicated projects, and many times, everyone has a good handle on the cost side of ROI, and everyone is challenged with coming up with a credible rationale around the benefits side of the equation," said Chris Wong, vice president of IT operations and marketing at IBM.

Particularly for midsize customers, however, money is at the crux of IT decisions, since such companies often work with bare-bones budgets. "For our midmarket customers, ROI, or payback, is absolutely a reason why [they] do or do not make a decision," CBE’s Cowie said. His company’s goal, he added, is to get customers to take a broad look at technology options and consider a managed services offering.

Smaller customers, meanwhile, need help in the most basic ways—figuring out where they want their businesses to go and how technology can help them get there.

"A lot of the industry in the SMB [small and midsize business] space has spent time on 'Let’s talk to you about the greatest technologies,’ but partners are finding the need to get down to nuts and bolts about why this makes sense for them," said John Fago, sales director for VARs and the Midwest region at Ingram Micro. "They want to know how the technology makes sense based on where they want to go and how they can increase profitability by going forward."


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