With technology transforming at a record pace, strategic and flexible solutions are critical to growing and adapting business. Tech Data’s Tech-as-a-Service (TaaS) is a comprehensive, flexible solution that bundles hardware, software and services into a single subscription price. As a business development professional (BDM) with Tech Data’s Endpoint Solutions, Alex Fitzhugh guides partners through the ins and outs of TaaS planning, implementation and marketing. Read on for her insider perspective.
Hi Alex, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. Let’s start with you! Tell us about your background and how you became involved in technology.
I come from a technology and financial background, having held positions in the mortgage industry as well as software and sales. I got started in the software industry working for a value-added reseller (VAR) where I specialized in selling IT service management (ITSM), infrastructure monitoring, artificial intelligence (AI), workload automation (WLA) and security software to mid-market and enterprise-level organizations. From there I moved over to the partner side where I continued to promote ITSM and knowledge management Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions. With my knowledge of SaaS solutions, it made sense to make the move over to Tech Data and promote their TaaS solution.
What’s a typical day like for you?
If I’m not on the phone discussing the program with resellers, I’m engaged with the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and partners. From sales training to guest speaking and webinars to promoting the program and showcasing strategic bundles of hardware, software and services. I also meet with partners to discuss TaaS pipeline and go over marketing strategy and collaboration opportunities.
How do you approach your role as a Tech Data business development manager (BDM)?
This is a difficult question. I’m not vendor specific since the TaaS program is supplier agnostic. With this being said, I wear many hats. I feel like the liaison between sales and product marketing, but I also work closely with the financing team too.
More businesses than ever are shifting to as-a-Service models. Tell us about Tech Data’s TaaS offering and its value to customers.
TaaS is meant to be a comprehensive, flexible solution that bundles hardware, software and services into a single subscription price. Because of this, customers will have continuous access to the latest technology thus improving the employee experience. They can also expect to have predictable low monthly costs.
Tech Data’s reseller partners play a key role in the success of its TaaS program. How does Tech Data enable these partners to understand customers’ needs and effectively support their TaaS transition?
Tech Data empowers its partners with co-branded marketing collateral, market insights, and end-user facing resources. Customizable bundles are a great way to show end customers a tangible example of what a solution relevant to them could cost on a monthly basis. These bundles can target specific customers or verticals. We also offer sales training and have embedded internal “TaaS Ambassadors” in both sales and product marketing to better support our partners and their customers.
What are some key questions that partners can ask their customers when considering a transition to TaaS?
- Does TaaS fit your business? Understanding how your customer’s business works and what they need to be productive is key.
- How will TaaS impact IT productivity? A key benefit of TaaS is removing some of the burden on IT and day-to-day management.
- Will TaaS improve your cybersecurity? Too often, many old PCs end up in the “land of forgotten toys.” With our TaaS model, customers can be assured that devices will always be collected and wiped of their data at the end of term.
- How much will TaaS streamline your IT implementations? TaaS is meant to be completely flexible and scalable. That way customers can add or remove devices according to changing business conditions.
Can TaaS be personalized for your business? Since the program is supplier agnostic, customers can deploy any device and operating system for each job function within their business to ensure optimal efficiency.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
As with any shift to a new business model, change is scary and takes time. However, if you take too long you risk becoming irrelevant. Starting conversations with your customers early is key to driving productivity, enhancing their security and moving their business forward overall. Asking the above questions is a great place to start on the road to TaaS.
About the Author
B.A. Beatty is a copywriter for Tech Data Agency, the marketing arm of one of the tech industry’s leading organizations. She enjoys collaborating with colleagues and refining her B2B and B2C marketing, research and content creation skills. When she logs off, you can find her raising her daughters, listening to music, traveling and hanging out with friends.