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1Technology Service Providers in Recession Where Do You Fit

 

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Lower PricingWork order prices in 2009 fell about 30 percent compared to work orders in 2008. OnForce reports now that work order pricing has been stabilizing for the past three quarters, indicating that we’ve hit bottom.

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Fixing the OldBusinesses looked to fix instead of replace…62 percent of all work orders in 2009 were in the break-fix category.86 percent of TV/video work and 78 percent of PC desktop work orders were break-fix.

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Looking to Technology to Save MoneyCustomers looked to more affordable technologies such as voice over IP (VoIP). VOIP and telephony work volume grew nearly 200 percent from the first quarter of 2009 to the fourth quarter of 2009.73 percent of all VoIP/telephony service events were new installation work.But work order value dropped sharply from $500 in 2008 as the highest revenue generating category at OnForce to just $150 in 2009.

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The Highest Paid WorkSecurity and wiring and cabling service events ranked as the most expensive work order categories in 2009, each surpassing $200.

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VARs DiversifyAbout 15 to 20 percent of VARs that provided technology services to businesses diversified by offering consumer electronics services including home theater installations and HDTV installations and warranty work.

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Unemployment Changes the MarketAs unemployment rose like flood waters around the country so did applications to OnForce’s technician database. OnForce estimates its technician applications doubled in 2009 compared to the year before.

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High-Priced Talent’s Free AgencyAt the same time applications increased, the caliber of technicians available also rose with Cisco, Oracle and VMware engineers joining the technician database.

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New Projects? Forget About It!New project work slowed to a crawl as workforces shrank and required fewer computers. IT organizations stacked the unused desktops and laptops in the closet.

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Still Waiting for the RefreshAt the start of 2010, OnForce saw no signs that the anticipated technology refresh of PCs and servers was happening anywhere.

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Work Order Volume StabilizesWork order volume also continued to stabilize in the fourth quarter of 2009, with installation work increasing by 3 percent.

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Mix of Job Types – Installations vs. Break-FixTotal service events in the fourth quarter…35 percent installation service events.59 percent break-fix events.

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Work Order Volume by TechnologyFor the fourth quarter of 2009 the top four categories in work order volume were:PC Desktop: 27 percent (down 3 percent from Q3)TV/Video: 17 percent (relatively flat)Network: 16 percent (relatively flat)Printer: 10 percent (relatively flat)

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Cheapest States to Hire TechniciansOklahoma, Vermont, and South Dakota were the least expensive states for onsite services in Q4, a shift from Q3 when Maine, New Hampshire, and Nevada were the least expensive states.

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Cities with the Highest Demand for TechniciansHouston, New York, and Chicago saw the most onsite service volume in fourth quarter of 2009, for the fifth quarter in a row.