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7 Ways to Make Monthly Recurring Revenue From Devices

17 Sep 2015 by Howard M Cohen

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR): It’s basically the holy grail of the retail world.

From the earliest days of reselling personal computers, securing maintenance and support contracts was considered to be part of “the complete sale.” As product margins dwindled, those recurring contracts became the primary source of profitability for resellers. The manufacturers always reminded us that “there needs to be a product to service.” That’s as true today as ever.

The razor and the blades

So let’s consider every mobile device we sell to be a razor. In that classic analogy, once the customer has bought the razor, he’s always going to need more blades.

The analogy isn’t perfect — only because for every razor there’s really only one kind of blade. Thankfully, in the era of cloud computing, the mobile “razors” we sell may require all kinds of different blades.

So let’s return to that concept of the “complete sale” — except now we turn it to come from the customer’s perspective. For our customers to be able to take fullest advantage of the mobile devices they are purchasing, what kinds of recurring, ongoing services — the mobile version of blades — will they require?

  1. Cloud-based Security — When everyone is in the office with their devices, it makes tremendous sense to locate the firewall and other security measures on premises. But when all the users are mobile, and may connect to the network from anywhere, it makes more sense to use cloud-based security. Moving inward from the device to the core, this includes: multi-factor authentication; network access control; identity management; encryption of the data in transit; intrusion prevention; firewall; security information and event management (SIEM); heuristic behavior-based security monitoring; and encryption of the data at rest in cloud storage. That’s a lot of blades. And each one contributes more MRR to your revenue stream.
  2. BackUp — Even though they are stored in the cloud, the data must be backed up.  In most cloud environments, entire virtual machines must be backed up regularly, and restore-tested periodically. More MRR.
  3. Mobile Device Management (MDM) — Any device on your customer’s network must be managed. Updates need to be streamed; performance needs to be monitored. If the user loses the device or it’s stolen, you need to be able to turn it into a brick. While we’re at it, you also need to manage the data on the device (the other MDM). More MRR. 
  4. Mobile Data Access — Every device requires a carrier account to connect to the Internet, along with telephone access to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). More MRR.
  5. Useful Applications — It’s to be expected that the users are going to want to be able to perform productive work on these devices, so you’ll be including a productivity suite and, more likely than not, communications and document management. More MRR.
  6. Custom Applications — With the emergence of platforms like Windows Apportals, you have the opportunity to do more than just port apps over from the desktop. You can configure them as native apps that take fullest advantage of the mobile interface. Serve up or stream these reconfigured apps — and enjoy even more MRR.
  7. Mobile Device Maintenance (the third and final MDM) — The days of hardware repair may be behind us, but the need for expedited swap-out of mobile devices in the field requires assurance, in the form of yet another MRR agreement.

While these may all sound like good ways to pile up customer fees like an airline, the great news is that everything listed here, and probably a few we missed, are all valuable services your customer needs and benefits from. Build your own custom bundles and market them as your own special offerings. Need help building them?  Call Insight today at 1.800.INSIGHT or visit us online.