Welcome to On The Edge with Jim Roddy!
I’m thrilled to present to you this new resource for the POS channel designed to inform, entertain, and inspire you. On The Edge will feature content – think three or four articles each month – that will provide you with exclusive channel and business insights from Vantiv’s PaymentsEdge Advisory Services.
I’ll draw from my business background and my experiences as a Reseller & ISV Business Advisor to share with you leadership, communication, and management lessons that you can apply to your organization immediately. Content won’t be generated in an ivory tower or conference room; our source for insight is the leading edge of our channel:
- Reseller and ISV “war stories” from my engagements with Vantiv partners
- Best practices learned (usually the hard way) during my nearly 25 years as a business leader and manager
- Business-focused books, usually recommended to me by a successful channel leader
- Trends and news from industry trade shows and conferences
On The Edge is new to the channel, but I’m not. From 1998 until mid-2016, I worked for Jameson Publishing and Business Solutions Magazine, serving as company President the last 11 years. I’m also Past Chairperson of the RSPA (Retail Solutions Providers Association), a board member of that association for six years, and author of Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer, a book featuring hiring lessons, interview best practices, and recruiting strategies for managers through the perspective of a cancer-surviving executive (that’s me).
Today I’m heading up Vantiv’s PaymentsEdge Advisory Services for the channel as a Reseller & ISV Business Advisor. I assist owners and managers with their recruiting, hiring, employee management, leadership development, customer satisfaction, succession planning, and more.
But enough about me. Let’s touch on two important lessons from my three months of “looking under the hood” at reseller orgs – both the successful and the struggling.
The most successful channel companies I’ve engaged with rigorously follow these two principles:
- Intentionally pursue recurring revenue opportunities
- Embrace automation
Intentionally Pursue Recurring Revenue Opportunities
The POS channel has heard for years that recurring revenue is important, and many VARs can attest that payment processing residuals have been a boon to their business. But too many POS resellers stop there. The best performing VARs aggressively seek new merchant services to add to their offering – and they’re yielding significant margins.
“Resellers are making their money by being consultative, going beyond hardware and offering merchant services,” Chuck Twesten from software developer ASI/Restaurant Manager told me. Chuck paints a clear picture with this analogy: “The POS system is that car in your garage. The fuel is merchant services. If I have the vehicle and no fuel, I’m not going anywhere.”
The most common and most profitable recurring revenue services offered by cutting-edge resellers in our channel are:
- Payment processing
- Remote monitoring and management (RMM)
- Wireless device management
- Network management
- Firewall management
- Remote access
- Application white listing service
Today’s most successful resellers are redesigning their business so monthly recurring revenue from services exceeds monthly expenses. The additional project work for that month falls right to the bottom line.
How does a small-to-medium sized reseller manage all these new offerings? Professional Services Automation (PSA) software is the backbone for efficient resellers. PSA software assists all aspects of the reseller’s operation – project management, time management, sales management, invoicing, collections, and more. You know the adage “if you can measure it, you can manage it”? PSA software does the measuring so you can do the managing.
The preferred PSA providers in our space are ConnectWise, E-automate, and Tigerpaw. Another respected PSA provider is Autotask, but I haven’t heard about them being implemented by POS reseller yet.
In the near future, I’m going to launch a study about automation software to gain more insights from retail, hospitality, grocery, and c-store resellers. Until then, let me point you toward a PSA product comparison published by Business Solutions Magazine that reviews Autotask, ConnectWise, and Tigerpaw through the eyes and experiences of three solution providers.
I promise to dig into more details on recurring revenue and automation in future On The Edge columns. If it works for leading-edge resellers and ISVs, we’re going to talk about it here.