While the service, which is offered in partnership with MaintenanceNet, has been available to Tech Data customers in the U.S. for some time, this is the first time bringing it beyond that market. The arrival in Canada is timed just a month after Smartattach was extended to better handle services renewals and upsell opportunities in addition to new services.
Smartattach can go through a reseller’s purchase history with the distributor and identify existing services contracts, where opportunities for new contracts exist, and track renewal windows much more proactively than was possible in the past, said Paul Wilkinson, director of product management at Tech Data Canada.
“It allows the partner to do a lot more independently, and gives them the freedom to drive their opportunities,” Wilkinson said. “It can streamline their business and drive that greater renewal opportunity, and will help accelerate their sales cycle.”
While Tech Data will continue to send resellers 90-day notice of upcoming service pack renewal opportunities of which it is aware, using Smartattach will help solution providers do more and better business, Wilkinson said.
As well as providing the ability to quote and order new services, including the option to present customers with multiple service levels, the tool can be used to mine opportunities – looking, for example, at Cisco gear a reseller has sold through the distributor that is not under a service contract, as well as renewal opportunities, and even helping resellers figure out where hardware refresh opportunities might be coming up as gear comes off-contract.
“It lets them look at that whole purchasing history with Tech Data, and builds out an inventory of knowledge to look at what you have that’s uncovered and what’s up for renewal,” Wilkinson said. “You can look at the next 90 days, the next 30 days, total opportunity by user, or even their whole book of business, and really do some planning.”
By making the big picture more readily accessible, Wilkinson solution providers can really fine-tune the service attach business by centrally managing it and tackling their customer base as a whole, rather than reacting to opportunities as they come do.
The service is now up and running on the distributor’s techdata.ca portal under the Tools section, and Cisco partners can access it immediately. Wilkinson said the distributor plans to run reseller training sessions on Smartattach later this month for those who want some guidance on getting the most out of it.