A playbook for ihiji re-sellers striving for greatness
This is a living blog post that will be updated in time. We invite you to share your feedback and thoughts by emailing us.

UPDATE (August 2012) – We now have a great white paper on remote monitoring & support roll out strategies! Click here to access the white paper.

Over time, we have learned that successful ihiji integrators focus on a rollout strategy that consists of three phases. Each is important to understand, as they ensure that you are quickly able to deploy remote network monitoring and management services that allow you to immediately reap lucrative financial and service efficiency benefits. The stages involve OPEX reduction through standardization, targeting existing customers with creative services and finally recurring revenue.

The first stage is simple.

A truck roll costs typical integrators between $250 and $500, depending on the market. Consider this: if you simply deploy invision to any job still under warranty, you will almost certainly pay for the first year of service by avoiding the time and expense of warranty tech support and truck rolls. Quite simply, all that all you need to do is begin deploying the invision appliance by putting it in every one of your service trucks. When your technicians go out on service calls, have them install one at each site that is under warranty. Since all configuration is done off-site, you can then activate and configure any installed appliances later that day from your office. This can save you thousands of dollars per year because, as Jason Knott with CE Pro suggests, one nightmare warranty call can ERASE the profits of 26 smooth profitable jobs. With this in mind, if you can standardize invision with an appliance on every new installation you specify, the invision solution can pay for itself even if you cover the first year cost for your customers.

The next phase is to begin to begin harvesting your gold mine; existing customers.

Most integrators have hundreds of existing customers but no plan or purpose for mining those customers for new opportunities. The easy way to begin this process is very similar to the above concept of stocking an invision appliance on service trucks so that they can be installed during an unexpected site visit. Just like warranty calls, simple, one-hour service calls cost you more than they generate in revenue – assuming a typical bill for a one-hour service call is $85/hr + $50 truck roll fee = $135. Now, if we consider the cost to you is typically $250, you’re losing $115 on every simple service call and your customer is paying the expense(*). You and your customer can save money with creative solutions that can reduce or eliminate the need for simple service calls. Reboots are the most common and simple truck roll services, and invision not only soft-reboots many control system devices but also integrates with remote power devices like the 2-outlet IP power device sold by ihiji. There is also an opportunity to deploy invision for internet monitoring, temperature and environmental monitoring, Control4 management, and/or network management. All of these are inexpensive services that carry a high customer value.

The last stage is the holy grail and is where you generate the recurring revenue side of remote monitoring, support and service contracts.

We recommend saving this stage until you’ve successfully transitioned through the others, because these can be the most complicated and time consuming for you and your business. With some of the creative services mentioned above, you can start to create a recurring revenue stream, but you ultimately want to establish a valuable service contract offering. A service contract can be offered to new, existing and take-over clients, and consists of services such as regular maintenance, firmware management, calibrations, quality of service guarantees and remote monitoring and support. ihiji has a number of resources available via blogs, and a HelpDesk to help resellers who are ready to begin this final phase.

By following this playbook for success, you can almost instantly start to transform your business into an engine that will drive increased profitability and higher customer satisfaction.

You can also begin the transition to a more service-oriented organization that has a healthy recurring revenue stream. Remember, the ihiji team is here to help. ihiji resellers have access to a number of ihiji resources that will help through each phase, and you can always contact us to learn more as you embark on your journey.

** There is a reason that any ISP, Telco or Cable company does everything in their power to not roll a truck: it is not profitable for them. Here’s a challenge, try calling the cable company and asking them to send a technician out to your house to reboot your cable box. Chances are, they will not. If this was a profit center for them, they would have jumped on the opportunity, which is something we all can and should learn from.

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