Found: The Next-generation Partner Portal
Sure, hardware and software companies have built numerous portals for their channel partners. Some are big hits. Others are ugly misses. But here’s a twist: Laurus Technologies, a Certified Dell Partner in Itasca, Ill., has built a rather intriguing portal that could bolster customer loyalty. Here are the details.
The Laurus customer portal strives to provide “total control and visibility of a[customer’s] hardware installations, track asset depreciation and book value, and manage configuration and software licensing information.”
Translation: Laurus is managing valuable business information for its customers — the type of data points that companies crave for their accounting, financial management and IT planning. With that type of “stickiness,” The VAR Guy believes the portal could be a key tool for customer retention.
Oh, and there’s a managed services hook here, too. Laurus says the portal “also provides administrative access to Managed Services and SaaS offerings including hosted messaging, email archiving, remote backup and disaster-recovery services.”
Hmmm… But what’s really in it for customers? Laurus claims the portal offers customers five key benefits:
- Reduced cost of managing IT assets by leveraging the portal as a platform and vendor–independent central repository for all vendor maintenance contracts and managed services.
- The ability to manage customized asset data as well as the relationships between assets.
- Productivity gains through self-service capabilities.
- Proactive advance notification of contract expiration, warranty expiration and “End of Service” dates.
- Powerful tracking and reporting tools for asset management.
But does the portal work as advertised? Laurus officially announced the portal on March 3. The VAR Guy will check in with the company in a few weeks to see how customers are taking to the system.