Motorola Channel Chief: Going Green Means Making Big Money

Schjins, vice president, global channels for Motorola's enterprise mobility solutions division, brought a compelling green message to attendees at Everything Channel's IT ChannelVision Government event this week: develop a green strategy now and you'll be first in line to make money.

"When we first started talking about green, we talked about crazy stuff like how we're going to charge up garbage and make it run computers," Schjins said. "Now we're talking about stuff that's reasonable. GPS systems that can save individuals $1,600 a year in fuel, for example. Reasonable green. That's what's making it across the chasm. Green is mainstream now. You're either on the bus or not on the bus."

To be on the bus, Schjins argued, is to understand that sustainability is a growing trend among public sector CIOs. Many of those CIOs are young, she said, and are being mandated to provide green solutions. A recent survey of partners by Motorola, she said, found that 75 percent of those surveyed reported increased customer interest in sustainability issues.

Selling green, she said, often requires being green. To go green means examining internal company policies around facilities, travel, purchasing and other areas.

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"The first thing you do is get your house in order," Schjins said. "You can't be selling a double standard. Do you have a written statement about your commitment to resources conservation? Do you have a person responsible for environmental affairs?"

Many solution providers sell green solutions, such as unified communications bundles or power management solutions, and don't even know it. Or if they do know it, Schjins said, they're not trumpeting it the way they should.

"I went through a bunch of your Web sites," she told the audience. "I didn't find more than one or two among you that had a strong green position."

That could be a key competitive difference for VARs, especially if green concerns become greater considerations for procurement officers down the road.

"A lot of us tend not to talk about that," she said. "But when it becomes a procurement request, you'll have to prove then you're green instead of being able to say, 'All along, we've been selling green.' You never want to be doing something after it becomes a requirement to do it. Green can close a deal at higher margins with less competition."

Motorola is among several companies intending to offer a green certification for the channel. The company will be launching a certification program -- third party-awarded -- for partners based on green solutions.

"Ninety one percent of the partners we surveyed are interested in getting someone certified," Schjins said. "You will win more sales with green."

"This will be a great year for you to start being green. A company that looks closely at energy consumption can save thousands of dollars a person. The average government agency can save twice that much," she said. "This is about the money."