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How to increase partner efficiency to increase your margins

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To meet customer expectations and remain competitive, IT channel partners must focus on high-value activities that allow them to increase their margins.

The business model of IT channel has changed in recent years, making it more difficult for partners to maintain sustainable profits from pricing alone.

With digital transformation, the market is no longer driven solely by hardware; now the software comes first, although there is also a greater focus on services. This has led forward thinking partners to evolve their offering to include IT management, consulting and solution development.

With this they are focusing on the needs of the client and creating services around those requirements. Undoubtedly, something very positive for customers and IT companies, but for many partners it is still not profitable.

Cloud companies, Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Value Added Resellers (VARs) that are unable to save time throughout their customers’ sales cycle are unlikely to have the resources to better understand customer needs and expand their services.

Partners need to focus on higher value activities instead of spending so much time and energy solely on sales

To solve this problem, following a series of recommendations can be very useful to become more efficient and increase your margins.

Selling products can consume most of a company’s time and resources. That means there is less time for innovation and the implementation of initiatives that help scale the business.

To live up to customer expectations and remain competitive, partners need to focus on higher-value activities instead of spending so much time and energy solely on sales.

What can solution providers do to meet today’s challenges and increase revenue?

The necessary evolution of partners

With the rise of hybrid work models, clients are seeking unique platforms to accommodate their internal collaboration and external client communications.

Partners can address this need by moving away from a time-consuming, multi-vendor approach and partnering with cloud providers that offer the communication tools that companies need for remote and hybrid work.

Companies that unify employee and customer communication platforms see 12.4% annual revenue growth

Doing this leads to higher customer satisfaction because it allows them to increase their own revenue: Companies that unify employee and customer communication platforms see annual revenue growth of 12.4% year-over-year.

Also keep in mind that channel partners are rarely just IT vendors as they offer pretty much everything from plug-ins to comprehensive service management.

To remain competitive, it is key that they rethink their approach to services. It is no longer enough to sell IT products and make a profit on the margin.

To offer a higher level of service, sales and customer management must be different than years ago. Solution providers need to work with a provider that simplifies their work, leaving them more time to build relationships with their customers, understand their needs, and offer an IT product and service model that solves all their problems.

initial image | Guille Alvarez

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Controversial change on eBay: Here it could be really expensive for customers in the future

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Anyone who has previously returned a product purchased on eBay has always received the full purchase price back. As “t3n” reports, among other things, this will probably change in the future. Sellers with a spotless profile or above average status will have the option to retain part of the amount in the future.

So if you send something back on eBay, you have to reckon with not getting the full price back – up to 50 percent. The background: eBay wants to protect sellers who have often been victims of abuse of the return policy in the past. Purchased products were often returned broken or not in full.

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Windows 10: Microsoft is pushing to upgrade to Windows 11

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Microsoft will provide Windows 10 with updates until 2025. And many still shy away from switching to the successor Windows 11: According to the statistics portal statcounter.com, Windows 10 is currently still running on more than two thirds of the world’s desktops, while Windows 11 is not even found on every fifth desktop, despite an upward trend. Microsoft wants to get more people to switch and recently stopped selling Windows 10. Now some users are reporting a window that urges users to upgrade to Windows 11 and hides the option to decline.

Buy a Windows 10 license for 14.90 euros

Get a license key for Windows 10 from Lizensio now – for only 14.90 instead of 145 euros (Windows 10 Home) or 14.90 instead of 259 euros (Windows 10 Pro). You save up to 94 percent compared to the RRP!

Windows 10: Microsoft is pushing to upgrade to Windows 11

So far, the window in question has only appeared with US users, but it could follow in this country. It is common in dialog windows that offer an installation to have clearly visible buttons for accepting the offer and one for declining. In this case, however, the latter is replaced by “Schedule it”. Click on it, delaying the upgrade for at most a few hours or days, but already giving the go-ahead for installation.

Upgrade nag to windows 11 full screen

This window completely obscures the desktop and aggressively promotes the upgrade to Windows 11.

This psychological trick is apparently intended to trick users into installing Windows 11, even if they didn’t intend to. Because at first glance, the brief postponement of the upgrade seems like the option to decline the offer. In this context, some commentators such as neowin speak of a dark pattern – the deliberately counterintuitive design of a user interface in order to let the user act against their will. Such tricks are otherwise used, for example, to prevent customers from giving notice.

windows 11

Buy a Windows 11 license for 14.90 euros

Get a license key for Windows 11 from Lizensio now – for only 14.90 instead of 145 euros (Windows 11 Home) or 14.90 instead of 259 euros (Windows 11 Pro). You save up to 94 percent compared to the RRP!

Upgrade window – how to keep Windows 10

Before any upgrade notes to Windows 11 appear in Windows 10, the system checks whether the PC is suitable for it at all. If your PC does not meet the system requirements for Windows 11, the window should not appear for you. Accordingly, TPM 2.0 or Secure Boot could be deactivated to make the PC artificially incompatible and never see the window. However, this potentially reduces security and leads to additional work if you later want to switch to Windows 11.

The better solution: If the window appears for you, don’t click on one of the large buttons too quickly. In a bar at the bottom of the screen you will find the option to keep Windows 10 in small letters. Click on it and Microsoft will present the advantages of Windows 11 in a new window. Click here Returnthen up decline upgrade and finally up Continue with Windows 10.

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HP Deskjet at Aldi: Here you should pay attention to the details

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2023 01 24 aldi hp deskjet 4110e 5984cc264f5687b7

HP+ is a mixed bag. Registration offers an extra warranty for one year and some cloud-based featureswhich would not work without this consent:

  • Print, scan and fax via smartphone app
  • Storage of scans and copies in the cloud
  • “24/7 remote printer backup”

With the last two points, one can ask oneself whether this can really be called a “feature”. But the two tangible Disadvantages of HP+ are in our opinion that only original cartridges from HP will then work in the printer and you can only print with an activated Internet connection.

That Storage of scans and copies on third-party servers aka cloudbecause this is so easy to do with the smartphone app, you should check with your company’s information security people in advance if you work from home.

A subsequent waiver of HP+ is not possible. You should therefore be aware of the possible consequences when making this decision. HP printers that already offer this feature during setup can be recognized by the small “e” in the type designation (here 4110e).

The Stiftung Warentest judges accordingly harshly: “Anyone who doesn’t want an HP account or wants to run their printer offline or with third-party ink should stay away from HP+.”

If you have just lost interest in the Aldi device, but would still like to buy an HP printer: With models without e in the end, at least you won’t be tempted during the printer setup.

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