A strong demand for services from solution providers has led distributor Global Convergence Inc. (GCI) to rebrand itself. With the merging of distribution company, Interlink Communication Systems, and service company, Network Dynamics, on Monday, the newly adjoined, Fla.-based distributor will leverage new services to channel partners.
Today, services are an important element for VARs to have in order to stay in and ahead of the game, said Joe Serra, COO of GCI.
"Owning the services factory and providing it to our clients is very important, because solution providers are being approached with complex implementations and service requests that are either beyond their capability or outside of their footprint," said Serra. "They are struggling with making a transition or balancing their business between hardware and services, and don't have enough capital to bring recurring revenue, so we created the portfolio to enable them."
As a newly merged brand, GCI will offer a mix of hardware products and services, in addition to supplementary support to solution providers, said Serra.
"If solution providers find themselves in too many competitive situations trying to be the lowest price for the same product, their margin structure declines," said Serra. "Our portfolio of products and services gives the solution provider something 'new' to talk to their customers about, and in many cases minimizes competitive threats and generates incremental margin. We’re bringing back the value in value-add."
Currently, GCI helps clients involved in the financial, health-care and government sectors, and delivers services on behalf of OEMs, said Serra. The distributor will bring services spanning from planning, design, implementation, project management, to wireless and site service assessments.
For Chris Johnson, president of Oasys, a GCI partner, the merging of distribution and services under Global Convergence will be largely beneficial to his small VAR networking and IT service management business. GCI's OPEX model is crucial for Oasys clients, said Johnson.
"[Our clients] know that GCI is reliable, and it's definitely going to help my company to add services and maintenance to our bag when we go see customers," said Johnson. "Everybody is trying to cut costs as everything is being pushed into an OPEX model, and that's key."
In differentiating itself from competitive, larger distributors, GCI focuses on providing in-depth support for solution providers, said Serra.
"It’s all about the presales support, and finding out all of the different types of enabling tasks you can provide a solution provider," said Serra. "You’ve got to understand the environment, the complexity and the time to invest. It's not that often that we get a call today about price availability and shipping; that’s not our typical sales call."
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