How Tech Data Helps Resellers Maximize Cisco Revenue

By Gina Roos  |  Print this article Print

Tech Data aims to help Cisco resellers benefit from incremental and recurring revenue for service contracts that is often left on the table.

Tech Data is helping partners take advantage of incremental revenue and other missed "second-chance" service opportunities that can add up to millions of dollars in Cisco services and software.

The distributor has enhanced its SMARTattach tool with the addition of an opportunity portal that was designed to help its reseller partners maximize recurring revenue and unattached opportunities on service contracts for Cisco products sold in the United States, Canada and Latin America.

Incremental, or unattached, opportunities come into play at the point-of-sale when a partner's salesperson does not sell services when they sell hardware. The SMARTattach Opportunity Portal gives them a way to manage the missed opportunities from the point-of-sale and go back as a "second-chance attach" and sell the service to the end user, said Angie Beltz, vice president, product marketing, Cisco Solutions Group at Tech Data. 

"The portal was created to drive stronger revenue and profits for our solution providers by maximizing their capture of the service renewal opportunities available across the Cisco product lines they sell," said Beltz.

Many renewals for Cisco software and services are left on the table every year that are not being chased down today, she said.

"What we've found working with partners over the years is that they focus on top-dollar renewal opportunities," Beltz said. "They have action plans and everybody has visibility into them, but [for] anything at a threshold of $25,000 and below, a lot of partners don't have the resources, or the visibility, to know when something is coming up for renewal and when it's going to be expire."

"Today, a lot of partners look at attach as important, but they don't necessarily know how to get their sales team to attach at point-of-sale. They are hiring head count to do administrative tasks around pulling data together to try to figure out where opportunities were missed to attach services, or they are just leaving it and letting it go," Beltz added.

"We make it easy, actionable, and executable for the partners to go back and get that attach and second-chance service."

The portal, powered by MaintenanceNet, gives resellers complete visibility into Cisco service renewal and new opportunities across their installed base. The renewals management function can be used to search for contract renewals that are due during a fixed period, enabling resellers to search for registered customer contracts due to expire within any period and use auto-generated quotes. Service quotes are automatically sent via email to channel partners within 90 days of service contract expirations and give customers the ability to make a purchase with a single click.

In addition to helping partners manage incremental revenue opportunities, the second piece is delivering operational streamlining, making it easier for partners to do quoting and ordering, said Beltz. The platform serves as both a Cisco product and service inventory management tool, and an automatic quote system that creates and delivers service renewal quotes for Tech Data resellers.

"There were a lot of operational efficiencies that we wanted to build into the tool and enhance the SMARTattach portion from a quote and order perspective to make it easier for partners. This is another area where we see a lot of cost added to partner models that don't need to be. They really need to invest in the selling portion of their infrastructure, their sales teams and internal structure," she added.

Available through Tech Data's Advanced Infrastructure Solutions (AIS) division, the SMARTattach Opportunity Portal is available as part of Momentum, the distributor's partner-enablement program that helps resellers build their Cisco services practice. Tech Data also offers expert consultation on how to expand a partner's services practice through its High Touch program. "The high-touch process and consultations have been a huge addition to our value proposition around Cisco Services," said Beltz.

Gina Roos, a Channel Insider contributor, specializes in technology and the channel.