Document Management Hangs on a Cloud1 Nov, 2015 By: Christina Robbins, Digitech Systems, Inc
The marketplace has talked a ton about cloud services and the benefits they offer consumers. However, you may not realize just how much a cloud offering can improve various aspect of your opportunity and grow your business as a value-added reseller (VAR). This is an area of technology growth that is exploding. It’s easy to get started. And, when you have the right partner, you can dramatically impact both your cash flow and profitability.
Why is the Cloud Exploding in Size?
The cloud is exploding as a business opportunity for at least four key reasons.
First, the number of records requiring effective, secure management is increasing across all business types. IDC indicates that by 2020, the digital universe will be 35 trillion gigabytes—nearly 44 times its size in 2009. This data explosion will continue to slow efficiency, complicate decision-making and increase the complexity of business all over the globe. Companies are planning their data management strategies to accommodate this explosive growth and are turning to Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems as the best means to securely and effectively control information.
Second, recent tough economic times taught us to choose IT investments more carefully, and ECM systems have not escaped just because the amount of data they need to manage keeps growing. This is why so many customers are turning to the cloud as an integral part of their information strategy. In fact, AIIM, the information management association, indicates that nearly three-quarters of businesses prefer the cloud over storing everything on-premise.
Third, cloud-based services are faster and simpler to deploy even for very large customers. Your customers don’t need to buy and then maintain expensive hardware. You don’t have to figure out how to make a software solution work in each customer’s unique network environment.
Finally, what is the biggest reason customers prefer cloud? Cloud-based document management returns more value to the bottom line of the business. Analysts at Nucleus Research found that the value difference between cloud and on-premise is nearly three times! Meaning cloud options offer on average $4.13 more value per dollar invested than on-premise ECM.
Cloud Is Easy
Many resellers have been hesitant to add cloud, because they are afraid that it will add a new technical complexity to their organizations. Quite the opposite is true! Cloud services are very easy to resell, and very little technical knowledge is required. Why? Cloud ECM services can provide all of the power of the most sophisticated ECM products, but without the investment (for you or your customer) in the hardware and IT expertise to manage it in-house. The manufacturers providing the software as an online service also manage and secure the storage. You can leave system upgrades and maintenance to them and focus your time and energy on what you do best: finding and serving your customers.
What are the benefits for you? Cloud services tend to have shorter sales cycles than traditional software implementations, because your customer does not have to allocate capital budget to purchase hardware or equipment. In addition, these services are generally easier to setup, because there is no installation required. These services mean faster time to revenue from each of your cloud customers than you’ve seen in the past with traditional hardware and software sales.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of cloud ECM is the security of the recurring revenue stream. Unlike traditional software sales, that are transactional in nature requiring you to constantly find new customers, cloud services allow you to get customers in the door at a friendlier, lower price point and then provide ongoing service for them over time. You wake up the first of each month with a built-in revenue stream from recurring billing to existing clients.
Real Reseller, Real Story
“ImageSilo® is the keystone of our cash flow, which is a lot less stressful. We are protected by the stability and control of recurring revenue, which allows us to offer extraordinary customer service to our clients,” says Bruce Rector, President of MuniMetriX. The Nevada-based VAR started selling ImageSilo, a cloud-based ECM service in 2001, and they love what cloud has done for their business. They see shorter sales and implementation cycles contributing to better overall profitability. Plus, offering cloud in addition to software allows their customers to choose which option best meets business goals. Rector says 100% of their sales growth is attributable to the addition of cloud to their product mix.
Tips for Finding Your Perfect Cloud Partner
How do you find the best cloud opportunity? Use the following criteria to help you identify superior programs and technologies. Your partner should have:
Experience and Support
- Many years of experience—their cloud-based services should have ten years or more
- Excellent technical support with customer satisfaction ratings above 90%
Simple, Scalable Products that Work with Anything
- Traditional software as well as cloud-based ECM, so your customers have options
- Extendable technologies like document capture, workflow and forms processing so customers can choose the options that work for their needs
Flexible Programs with Services and Resources
- A flexible partner arrangement with an easy to understand pricing model for small and mid-size businesses
- Sales support that offers a quick start for your staff and ongoing support through marketing and sales materials
It’s never been easier to get into the cloud business, and now may just be the perfect time to start achieving those business goals. ECM systems are storage intensive, so cloud is a natural model that is attractive to customers. Look for partners who have many years of cloud experience as well as offering both on-premise and cloud options so customers can choose what best meets their needs. Then get out there and enjoy the shorter sales cycles, lower price points, and stronger customer relationships you’re able to build as a result.
Digitech Systems, Inc.
Digitech Systems, Inc. enables businesses of any size to more effectively and securely manage, retrieve and store corporate information of any kind using either PaperVision® Enterprise content management (ECM) software or the world’s most trusted cloud-based ECM service, ImageSilo®. Digitech Systems has moved ECM from a luxury convenience to an essential element for every well-managed business by improving efficiency, boosting information control and saving organizations money. They are the source for EfficiencyNOW! ControlNOW! MoneyNOW! ECMNOW!
Digitech Systems continues to raise the standard of excellence in the ECM sector, as evidenced by the numerous awards they have received including the InfoWorld 100, CRN’s Emerging Tech Dynamos and multiple Nucleus Research ROI Awards. In addition, Buyer’s Lab has recognized both PaperVision® Capture and PaperVision Enterprise as the best products in the enterprise capture and ECM fields. To learn more about Digitech Systems; the company’s software and services that deliver any document, anywhere, anytime, visit http://www.digitechsystems.com
John Gantz & David Reinsel, (May 2010) “The Digital Universe Decade—Are You Ready?” IDC iView.
AIIM (2015) “ECM Decisions: Strategic options for managing accessing and preserving content.” Industry Watch.
Nucleus Research (December 2014) “Cloud ECM Delivers Nearly 3X Returns.”