Solution provider Solarcom Partner Services has a message for smaller VARs looking to beef up their offerings,and their margins,without expensive investments in services: Partner with us.
The new business entity, whose parent company is Solarcom Holdings, is recruiting hardware, network and telecom solution providers looking to augment their offerings with professional services.
Solarcom Partner Services, based here, is leveraging the IT integration and service capabilities of its sister organizations, including Solarcom, a Sun solution provider and a provider of internetworking, enterprise systems, storage and financial services; Atlantix Global Systems, a provider of wholesaler and end-user systems, peripherals and services; and Comlanta, a provider of business-recovery and hosting services, said Steve Moody, vice president and general manager of the company. "We assembled a suite of services and extended them to the channel to allow [solution providers to fill in the gaps of what they provide," he said. "Maybe someone is a telecom provider but has no leasing offerings, or one offers network integration but no telecom."
Working with Solarcom, solution providers can become eligible for long-term annuities and commissions to which they would normally not have had access, Moody said. "Solution providers in the past saw [annuities as a negative because of their need to pay for up-front costs," he said. "But we feel annuities are good. If you build up enough, they will pay for all fixed costs and help sustain business in a down economy."
Moody cites an example of what could be achieved by partnering: A hardware reseller partner could expect an average 30 percent gross margin on Solarcom Partner Services' full range of professional services. In addition, that solution provider could expect a 12 percent to 15 percent commission on the monthly billing related to telecom services, and a 20-plus percent average commission on monthly payments for managed security and database services.
Erny Bonistall, chairman and president of Global Solutions, a Norcross, Ga.-based telecom services provider and consultant, said he left a recent Solarcom Partner Services meeting with a dozen potential client leads. While Global Solutions focuses on helping clients handle telecom problems related to events such as moving offices or managing call centers, or even just understanding contracts and billing, there are other services it could offer customers, Bonistall said.
Global Solutions talks to a lot of service providers that are looking for partnership opportunities, but most are looking only for leads to increase their business, Bonistall said. "Solarcom actually came to us, asked us questions and understood our needs," he said. "They really brought us in as partners. . . . It may be a cliche, but clients look for one-stop services, and you can provide it with a few key partners."