Unless you’ve taken a vow of silence and been living in a cave for the last 18 months or so, you’ve likely heard a lot of people talking about business convergence.
If you are an office equipment dealer or managed print provider, you may have even noticed that in the last six months or so convergence is dominating the conversation. It seems everywhere you turn it just keeps popping up in blogs, earnings reports and press releases.
But not everyone is ready to jump right in. Why? Here are five reasons you may want to ignore all of the buzz around convergence:
1. You don’t need the extra money
Your business is stronger than ever and you are free of the wrath of tightening margins and fewer dollars per user. If you are happy with $17 to $24 per user for print services, why would you want another $90 to $120 per user for other services like managed IT, VoIP or security? There’s plenty of other people willing to do the work of gaining those dollars, you know to just leave well enough alone.
2. You believe the old ways are the best ways
Paying attention to Millennials (or even maybe those in Gen Z) entering management positions and the idea that their buying habits are different than the old ways isn’t your style. You are tied to an enterprise resource planning platform (ERP) or professional services automation (PSA) software that believes so much in the old ways that you couldn’t offer new services even if you wanted to unless you ran two different systems.
Yes, there are options out there that would allow you to run only ONE system for all your offerings, but who needs that? The old ways are the best ways!
3. You’ve seen people try and fail
You pay attention to what’s going on in the imaging channel and know a few of your peers that have tried and failed at re-imagining their businesses.
Oh sure, there are a bunch that are breaking the rules and succeeding like Atlantic Tomorrow’s Office, Marco, Impact Networking, etc., etc., etc., but who cares about them? Keeping our eye on what could go wrong is much more conducive to staying the course and avoiding the topic of convergence altogether.
4. You don’t mind keeping the door open for new competitors
There are rumors that the managed IT folks are starting to offer their own version of managed print, but in your heart you know they’ll fail. They only manage most of the customers’ network assets and earn only 80 percent to 90 percent of available technology revenue at the customer site.
If you have a belief that being the best at what you do guarantees your customers won’t leave for another vendor, you can happily avoid convergence!
5. Nobody can help me figure it all out
As an OED or MPS provider in the imaging channel you may not have direct access to people and resources that help you figure out all this new convergence stuff. You don’t belong to the BTA, the CDA, or CompTIA or work with others who have this nailed down. You don’t want to put your toe in the water because it could be either too cold or too hot, who knows what to expect! Looking for new partners and people who have succeeded with convergence just chews up too many valuable hours that you could use to just do things the same way that made you successful in the first place.
And then there’s the alternative
Of course, you could be more interested in growing your business. You could be an advocate for redefining your offering for a customer base that is doing the same. You could be the kind of company that believes leading the market is the surest path to dominating your competitors. You could even be bold enough to believe that by taking convergence head on that you’ll have more fun working every day.
If that’s you, well, good luck to you. And just between you and me, yeah, I’d LOVE to talk to you about business convergence, because secretly (maybe not so secretly), I think it’s going to rock our channel to the core. When you’re ready, so am I!