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Broadleaf Services is living proof that offering storage services is a smart bet for solution providers. Last year, this small provider of data storage, business continuity and disaster recovery services grew its total revenue to the tune of 150 percent thanks to an increasing number of distress calls from customers drowning in data.
That's good news for James Tenner, president and CEO of Burlington, Mass.-based Broadleaf. Tenner says the company's good fortune rides on offering services for a range of storage disciplines, with implementation and data migration services happening to be in highest demand. "We do the design and engineering for SANs and help customers implement [them]," he says. "Many rely on us to come up with data migration strategies."
It seems a no-brainer, but storage VARs that add services to their businesses pave an avenue for growth and recurring revenue beyond that achieved through point product sales alone. Yet not nearly enough are seizing the moment, according to the results of the recent VARBusiness State of Technology Survey of 250 resellers.
Missing the Boat
According to the survey, storage solution providers of all sizes generated an average of only 18 percent of total revenue from storage-related solutions and services in 2006.
So, what gives? For many, the investment in training and hiring additional staff can be a deal-breaker. And then there's vendor enablement, which many VARs cite as lacking. Even storage vendors themselves acknowledge that they haven't sufficiently enabled VARs to make the transition to services. That's changing however, as some say they're retooling their partner programs to better enable solution providers to get into the higher-value services game.
NEXT: Lending a hand.
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