Resellers switch on to hosted SaaS

Hosted software as a service (SaaS) provider Genesis Communications has announced an 88% increase in its IT reseller business partners since launching its dedicated SaaS reseller portal, Choice, in January this year.

The company attributes the success of the scheme in part to the numerous opportunities for increased margin provided to resellers by SaaS. Global SaaS revenues are predicted to hit $14.8 billion by 20121 and 21% of companies are currently piloting SaaS products.

Genesis says the opportunities for resellers are currently unlimited and is urging the channel to take SaaS seriously and get involved while the market is still relatively young.

The company has seen a number of comms resellers migrating across to their scheme as they look to add IT services to their portfolios. Other resellers who have previously considered it too expensive to provide SaaS solutions directly to their customers have welcomed the chance to offer a hosted solution in partnership with Genesis.

Bryan Vaughn, managing director at Swiftcom Business Solutions, recently joined Genesis’ growing ranks of IT resellers: “As a comms reseller, you can’t ignore IT if you want to offer the best possible service to your customers,” Vaughan explains. “IT and telecoms are converging and it’s only sensible to re-evaluate your offering and figure out how you can improve it.

“Hosted versions of products such as Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and Dynamics CRM enable remote working and total workforce flexibility whilst significantly reducing hardware and maintenance costs,” Vaughn continues. “We’re expecting a 5% to 10% increase in sales as a result of offering SaaS to our customers.”

Another SaaS advocate is John Clark, managing director at Solutions Shared. After deciding that buying his own server and offering SharePoint direct to his customers wouldn’t be viable financially, he explored his options and became a Choice reseller: “By being able to implement and customise a solution like SharePoint on behalf of our customers, we can provide them with an excellent hosted IT solution that has numerous possibilities for improving both efficiency and efficacy. Hosted SharePoint could well become the main part of our business.”

Adam Cathcart, head of channel development at Genesis, believes the key to selling hosted SaaS is simplicity: “Our aim with Choice is to make everything as user friendly as possible for our partners and their customers. We understand that offering a new product or service can often be fraught with complications and that there is nearly always an education job to be done with customers.

“Our UK-based call centre and expert sales team is always on hand to help with reseller queries and products such as our Quick Start Packs are designed to make the transition to Hosted SaaS easier for resellers and their customers, offering easy set up and taking the hassle out of switching to a Hosted solution for everyone involved,” he continued. “The experiences of companies like Swiftcom clearly illustrate that there is a growing appetite for these kinds of services and resellers would do well to act now to grab their share of the market while it’s still growing so quickly.”

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