Over the recent months, closed facilities and home-based office workers have seriously impacted the need for digital printing services. In a recent survey completed by Quocirca, “59% of print industry executives state that the crisis has had a critical or significant impact on their business.” With this change, many dealers have seen a precipitous drop in their monthly billing: less printing, fewer click charges, and less revenue. It is a familiar story we hear from many principals we work with, so how do we backfill this delta without a complete reinvention of who we are?
We sat down with our CEO, Stephen Young, to get his take on a new direction for office equipment dealers.
Q: How has solution selling impacted the Office Equipment industry?
A: Solutions have helped many dealers build diversity in recent years. The most popular applications have typically focused on cost management around printing. Other solutions like Document and Content Management have found success with some dealers, but they present their own unique challenges for others.
Q: What are those challenges facing Office Equipment dealers when it comes to the sale of document and content management?
A: Most commonly, it comes down to staffing the right resources. Some dealers have invested in the infrastructure to deliver these solutions successfully, but the large majority have struggled with getting a program off the ground. Issues like scope creep, cost overruns, and even failed projects have plagued many dealers who only dabbled in ECM. I’d be the first to admit that in order for solutions to be delivered effectively and profitably, a fair level of expertise is required, but who has the resources to invest or develop this expertise and then potentially see their talent turn over in a year or two?
Q: Do you see a way those challenges can be overcome?
A: Tools like proper scoping techniques and well-written Statements of Work help with these issues, but what’s needed is a completely new approach to solution sales. Even with outsourced professional services, it doesn’t change a simple fact; properly proposing and delivering solutions takes time, and that impacts both sales and payment cycles in a way that simply is not favorable to the dealership or the sales rep. It is time for a truly radical change in solution sales.
What if dealers could offer a solution to their customers that’s designed by experts, has a proven value proposition, could be sold within a standard equipment sales cycle, and can be delivered in minutes? That is the goal we had in mind when we created our Solutions Delivery Network (SDN). Square 9’s SDN introduces a proven library of vertical and horizontal applications that can be downloaded from our cloud to your customers, completely ready to go no matter if they are working in the office or from home.
Q: How can office equipment dealers deliver cloud solutions to customers more efficiently?
A: With Square 9’s Solution Delivery Network, we are sharing our expertise in the form of proven solution designs, so you can focus on increasing your profits, not your training expenses. With that kind of support and our rapid delivery model, you now have a solution you can offer to every one of your customers. Rather than closing one ECM subscription a month or even a quarter, you can now offer it with every single equipment sale. That means rapidly building a stream of recurring revenue that only grows over time.
Q: What effect has the COVID-19 pandemic had on solution sales?
A: We are seeing an increase in the need for cloud-hosted solutions now more than ever. Many businesses have had to move their workforce remote because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They need solutions like Accounts Payable automation complete with a multilevel invoice approval process to work efficiently. Or maybe they need to automate the capture of invoices or purchase orders with a pre-tested OCR process? At Square 9, we have you covered with solutions in the cloud that can support these needs.
We also support HR with a solution for Human Resources documentation that includes pre-configured web forms for capturing onboarding documents like the Federal I-9 or W-4. Specifically, to support businesses during the pandemic, our newly released solution, Return to Work Essentials, helps facilitate the reopening process for organizations, ensuring they take the right measures to maintain a healthy and safe workplace and limit the spread of infection. The solution is a touchless screening process for anyone entering a workplace to ensure their health status before gaining access to the facility. These pre-designed solutions are available from the Square 9 Solutions Delivery Network and offer rapid deployment measured in days vs. weeks or months.
Q: Security is top of mind for every business these days, especially since many work from home or different locations. How important is security to your dealers/customers, and how does Square 9 stay in compliance?
A: Our dealers rely on us to ensure their customers’ information is safe and secure. Especially as customers progressively migrate to the cloud where their data is fully under our control. Failure to provide a secure environment exposes the risk of compromising their customer’s data and creating a significant security incident. It also has the potential to damage their overall relationship with the customer. Something like this could easily result in a loss for their entire portfolio of business.
Square 9 has taken a multistep approach to address growing security concerns, including regular audits of our business practices and security measures, which has allowed us to become SOC 1/ SOC 2 and HIPAA certified in 2019. We are also continuously evaluating our cloud infrastructure to ensure the highest levels of virus, malware, and firewall protection are in place and up to date. Finally, our infrastructure team is always evaluating new ways to harden our platform and add new layers of protection. With the approach we’ve been discussing, Square 9 handles all security concerns so that your customer doesn’t have to.
Contact Square 9 Softworks today. Learn more about our Solutions Delivery Network and how you can achieve real success with cloud Enterprise Content Management sales.