I recently spoke with several managed services vendors, and I asked them this question: "What's the #1 recurring revenue opportunity that solutions providers miss?" I learned a lot of good information from their answers, but the one answer they all had in common surprised me: BYOD (bring your own device).
Indeed, there is a trend that's been happening among your customers where they're trying to figure out the best way to deal with their employees' smart phones, tablets, and other consumer devices that are making their way onto their networks. According to the latest research from Gartner, 90% of companies will support corporate applications on personal mobile devices by 2014
. Additionally, research firm MarketsandMarkets estimates the BYOD and enterprise mobility market to grow at a 15% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), reaching $181 billion by 2017
. If you've only been focused on managing your customers' PCs, servers, and MFPs (multifunction printers), you're missing a big revenue opportunity.
Where can VARs make their money selling BYOD services?
1. BYOD policies are a good place to start
. According to Windstream, nearly 40% of SMBs don’t have a formal BYOD policy
. Without a formal policy in place, your customers are opening themselves up to all kinds of problems ranging from bad (e.g. inappropriate/offensive material being viewed on personal devices at work) to worse (employees storing sensitive company information on their personal devices and retaining that data upon leaving the company). A formal policy can and should address which devices are acceptable, acceptable uses for personal devices during work hours, and how the employer will retain its proprietary information upon an employee's termination.2. Don't forget about security. Business owners, sales reps, and other employees can potentially generate and save sensitive corporate information on their BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and Windows 8 devices. You can help protect this information by providing RMM (remote monitoring and management) services whereby your mobile customers' devices are backed up to the cloud when they connect to their corporate networks. Also, if a mobile device is lost or stolen, it can be remotely locked out or wiped clean. This service can be added to your managed services offering, and can be the one thing that separates you from your competitors.
BYOD has been happening long enough that it's clearly not just a passing fad. If you're not already offering services that address your customers' BYOD business challenges and goals, make this your #1 business New Year's Resolution.