Everon Technology Services, a managed service provider that lands regularly on the Inc. 5000 and MSPmentor 100 lists, is starting to target the hardware as a service (HaaS) market. Everon's HaaS move is important for at least two reasons. First, it leverages a relationship with CharTec. Second, Everon is savvy when it comes to marketing and end-customer education. So Everon's efforts and learnings could help accelerate the HaaS industry. Here's a bit more background.
HaaS is more than leasing. Through key financing and business processes, MSPs earn recurring monthly revenue from customers' hardware. The trick for MSPs is finding a way to offer HaaS without taking on major financial risk.
Everon disclosed its HaaS efforts on the company's SMB IT Pros blog. According to a Dec. 23 entry, HaaS is a big deal for two key reasons:
"1. Stuck - when you sell a hardware as a service solution to your clients, your services are now “stuck” to the technology – they can no longer be separated by the client. This is a HUGE benefit to our business; it totally changes our business model and the equity value of our business. Why? Because it makes your client base…In the blog, Everon CEO Mike Cooch calls on "everyone in our industry" to evaluate how HaaS can be part of their business models. I still have to speak with Cooch directly about the HaaS efforts, but I essentially agree with his assessments above.
"2. Sticky - it’s going to be hard for a client to leave one of these arrangements. They will be making a big financial decision in cancellation penalties to get away from your service, as they will essentially have to pay for the purchase of their equipment and software when they break an agreement with you. As opposed to managed services, which is pretty darn easy to get out of a contract."
Multiple ThreadsThis story has multiple threads and back-stories. They include...
1. Who Is CharTec?: Everon credits CharTec for assisting its HaaS efforts. No doubt, CharTec CEO Alex Rogers is one of the MSP industry's most vocal HaaS evangelists. Here's a quick interview with Rogers from the November 2009 ConnectWise Partner Summit:
Next up, there are signs that CharTec will build a very close relationship with ConnectWise in 2010. Their common enemy: Dell.
2. Raising HaaS's Visibility: Everon, as I've mentioned, is one of the MSP industry's loudest and most consistent proponents. Cooch focuses on multiple projects -- including a new business called Kutenda that assists VARs and MSPs with their web presence, search engine optimization and marketing. As Cooch bangs the drum for Everon and Kutenda, you can bet his educational efforts will include HaaS.
Here's a bit more on the Kutenda effort:
3. Networking: Everon's Cooch and CharTec's Rogers were on a panel together at ConnectWise Partner Summit. As you plan your 2010 schedule, make sure you attend partner events hosted by your PSA and RMM vendors. I'm not endorsing any one event. Skip those that haven't offered you a clear ROI. But I am endorsing networking. Many PSA and RMM annual conferences seem to set the stage for longer-term relationships.
4. Baby Steps: CharTec didn't invent HaaS. A good number of MSPs -- such as MasterIT -- have focused on HaaS for more than a year. But every successful industry has key inflection points. Today is one such inflection point. Everon understands marketing, branding and promotion. And they're embracing HaaS. I think that's newsworthy.
Of course we need to keep HaaS in perspective. Will all HaaS customer engagements succeed? Certainly not.
What are the common mistakes MSPs (and their customers) make with HaaS? MSPmentor needs to do a better job covering those issues. I promise: We will.