Regardless of where you live, whenever spring approaches, the weather brightens, days grow longer, and we start thinking about “spring cleaning,” when we remove the winter’s clutter, open the windows for fresh air, and watch nature rejuvenate itself.
For IT solution providers, it’s a good time for you to review projects with customers and pick-up the thread of unfinished business – and to look at your own operations to judge how far along you’ve gotten with your plans for the year. As the end of the quarter approaches, are you on target? Have you managed to kick off the projects you were planning or have you spent most of your time fighting fires?
Perhaps you’d planned to review new cloud and remote services to decide whether they’re a good fit for your practice. Or with all the current talk about machine learning and automation, you might have had it on your “To Do” list to investigate opportunities in these areas. Have you made any effort to learn more about the Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing to see if they make sense for you?
These are all questions worth asking as you consider whether your operations could use some sprucing up.
Sweet Spring Spot
On the customer front, March, April and May are a sweet spot for discussions about new technology and service investments. In some countries, companies pull back on spending in the first quarter to avoid blowing their annual budgets or because they haven’t quite finalized their yearly spending plans.
Second quarter is the perfect time to sit down with customers to talk about new services and technologies before they get distracted with graduations and vacations.
Make plans to pick up where you left off the last time you discussed strategic investments. Leverage your quarterly business review as a starting point for the conversation. Remind clients of any investments and projects they may have been putting off, and how that is costing them in productivity and profitability. If it’s time to clean up by replacing old applications and infrastructure with new services, tell them that.
You’ll want to have these discussions with the top team. In some companies, that will be the founder/owner. In others, you might reach out to the CEO, who has the final authority, or the COO, who controls the purse strings.
Also take advantage of this time to introduce ideas to customers. For instance, have you had any discussions with them about IoT? Chances are customers are curious because they most likely have been hearing about it. Even if you’re just starting to look into it yourself, gauging customer interest will give you a clearer perspective on how to approach the opportunity.
Another potential area to discuss is managed power services, which allows providers to remotely monitor, manage and troubleshoot the power infrastructure.
Beyond IoT and managed power services, there’s no shortage of technology opportunities to discuss with clients. As spring progresses, don’t miss the opportunity to assess your own operations and have discussions with clients about theirs. Delay too long, and before you know it, you’ll be watching the leaves change.
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