Channel Business How-tos

SearchITChannel.com's Channel Business How-To series provides actionable advice for managers of channel businesses. You'll find high-level, but highly specific, tips for running a successful reseller, service provider or IT consulting business.

SearchITChannel.com's Channel Business How-To series provides actionable advice for managers of channel businesses. You'll find high-level, but highly specific, tips for running a successful reseller, service provider or IT consulting business. Channel Business How-To topics include how to evaluate the profitability of an IT project, how to incorporate a SaaS business model and how to develop effective IT marketing techniques. Email us your requests for more channel business topics, and check back here for more installments in the series.

Market development funds tutorial

In the day-to-day effort to deliver the right services and products to your customers, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that your vendor partners can be your biggest allies. Find out how to get the most from their market development funds programs -- using techniques to maximize return for both you and them. And learn how MDF programs fit within vendors' overall channel partner strategies.

How to become a managed service provider

Value-added resellers are gravitating toward managed services as an area with good growth potential. Many VARs operate with a hybrid model, offering reselling or integration services as well as managed services. While building an MSP business out of an existing VAR or break-fix shop isn't always easy, this Channel Business How-To will get you started.

How to survive a recession in the IT industry

Talk of recession is in the air, but value-added resellers (VARs) and managed service providers (MSPs) don't have to be caught in the downdraft. By adopting some best practices for monitoring your income, seeking recurring revenue streams and offering flexible payment options, you can find continued success even as enterprises reduce spending on new IT projects. In this Channel Business How-To, you'll not only learn how to survive in a recession, but thrive.

Writing an IT service-level agreement

If you're rolling out a services-based line of business, such as managed services, an IT service-level agreement (SLA) is as essential as your vendor partnerships. Whereas many resellers may have previously acted just as an intermediary between their customers and vendors, more and more are providing service directly -- or at least rebranding services from a managed service provider (MSP) as their own. This closer, longer-term relationship means you'll have to draft an SLA to define exactly what you should and shouldn't be expected to do for your clients. Learn what an SLA is and how to draft an SLA that will save both you and your clients headaches in the future.

The role of the channel in selling SaaS

For a reseller or systems integrator, SaaS requires a few adjustments, but service providers and vendors alike agree there's a role for the channel with SaaS. Learn why, especially in the small and medium-sized business sector, companies wanting to use SaaS will still look to a reseller for advice and implementation help.

Evaluating the profitability of an IT project

For many small and medium-sized resellers, expanding your line of business takes time and money, and it's important to know both your up-front capital expenses and ongoing costs so that you can calculate your return on investment (ROI). Read this Channel Business How-To for advice on becoming and staying profitable as a reseller. You'll learn techniques to expand your business, including gauging market demand, understanding fixed and ongoing costs, maximizing staff allocation, and how partnerships can help you.

Five steps to IT marketing success

In the fiercely competitive world of IT consulting, solid IT skills aren't enough to make your consulting business a success -- you need effective methods for getting your message out and differentiating yourself from your competitors. In this Channel Business How-To, you'll learn the steps to developing an effective IT marketing campaign. From identifying your audience, to developing a compelling message, to forming mutually beneficial partnerships, this advice gleaned from IT consulting veterans will take your business to the next level of success.

This was last published in May 2008

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