ChannelLife Australia logo
Industry insider news for Australia's technology resellers
Story image

The backbone to service: How an ERP can help businesses diversify

By Contributor
Fri 13 Nov 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by ECI Software Solutions regional sales manager for APAC, Deage Kalsbeek.
 

It’s been a tough year for field service. A sector which relies heavily on supporting businesses in an office environment is of course impacted when most teams switch to remote working, and the office we have known for decades is suddenly changed in a matter of days.

This core challenge in 2020 has only added to the existing ones that affect the field service market in the A/NZ region. Declining volumes and a transition to paperless offices throughout the pandemic have all resulted in managed print services (MPS) businesses reconsidering products, services, structure and processes. 

The industry is also grappling with re-evaluations of their business, sales and pricing models to understand their position in the market and how to stay competitive.

The pressure has been on to secure recurring revenue and to find new revenue streams. For some businesses, diversifying and improving service was always central to its core values. But with the challenges the market faces, all businesses within field service will be considering how they achieve these.

One of the big talking points of this year has been recovery. Ever since the pandemic hit early this year, MPS businesses have faced the challenge of recovering — and from there finding a way to grow again. Relationships and service are critical to this.

Customers tend to stick with service providers who understand their print needs and ensure the day-to-day is covered. So what can businesses do to ensure they maintain a high level of service?

According to a survey of companies in field service across the globe, 56% believe that establishing a service culture is vital to helping their businesses thrive moving forwards, while 83% want to increase efficiency of service delivery to boost margins. 

This means MPS businesses need to make sure the infrastructure of their business supports these goals. Their central enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and its functionality is often overlooked as a good place to start. 
 

Not All ERPs are created equal

Once upon a time, the central ERP system served as an admin function of the business — a place where sales, customer service and accounting could all record and store information.

Yet, as MPS businesses have grown and evolved, so has the functionality of ERPs on the market — they have had to become the backbone of any good MPS business as the emphasis on data, integration and automation has intensified. 

Instead of just supporting a team’s hard work, many ERPs are now designed to take on much of that work so teams can focus on service and strategy, rather than being bogged down in manual processes.

Take, for example, device management. Keeping track of all serialised equipment, from their location history, to contracts, transactions and usage, are all important to service. If this information is easily collected, stored and accessed by ERPs, it makes a big difference to the team from having to take time to do this manually.

Contract management is another time consuming but vital process for MPS businesses. With the right functionality, an ERP can automate meter requests and generate invoices which are emailed directly to customers. 

It can also send alerts if contracts or warranties are about to expire — this gives sales teams the nudge to pick up the phone at optimum times. These contracts can also be connected to your purchase orders and service calls, so organisations can have clear visibility on whether they’re meeting your margins.

Functions like these support MPS businesses angling to boost revenue through efficiency of service or diversification. A central ERP has to be scalable too — as volumes decrease, organisations may look to add signage or other product lines to their offerings, or expand managed services to IT. 

A flexible ERP with the functionality to seamlessly connect all areas of the business together is the first step towards increasing revenue.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Microsoft
SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to deliver 204% return - study
The Forrester Total Economic Impact study finds SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure brings a 204% return on investment over three years.
Story image
Hawaiki Cable
BW Digital completes acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable
BW Digital has completed its full acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable, with all applicable regulatory filings and approvals now received.
Story image
Adyen
Adyen expands partnership with Afterpay as BNPL payments increase
Adyen has expanded its partnership with AfterPay allowing more of Adyen’s merchants in more countries worldwide to use the BNPL provider.
Story image
SaaS
Atturra partners with Focus HQ to support Aus organisations
Atturra has executed a partnership agreement with Focus HQ, to resell and support the company's Australian developed SaaS-based portfolio management platform.
Story image
Jabra
Jabra reveals its latest portable headset Engage 55
Jabra has launched the Engage 55, the newest product in Jabra's Engage series designed for ultimate call security and quality.
Story image
Red Hat
Red Hat expands capabilities to provide streamlined application development in cloud
"Application development is undergoing significant change and developers need tools to support this transformation."
Story image
Malware
Sharp increase in phishing as cybercriminals leverage SEO to lure victims
"Malware lurking everywhere, from cloud apps to search engines, leaving organisations at greater risk than ever before."
Story image
Logistics
TeamViewer and SAP combine AR and warehouse operations
TeamViewer combines its AR platform, Frontline, with SAP's Extended Warehouse Management solution, to make warehouse and logistics operations more efficient.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Updates from Google Workspace set to ease hybrid working troubles
Google Workspace has announced a variety of new features which will utilise Google AI capabilities to help make hybrid working situations more efficient and effective.
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Phishing
Google reveals new safety and security measures for users
Google's new measures include automatic two step verification, virtual cards and making it easier to remove contact information on Google Search results.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Poly
Poly introduces new smart devices and announces Amazon e-store in Australia
Poly is introducing two new pro-grade devices to the market and announcing its first official Australian e-store on Amazon.
Story image
Ransomware
Zerto unveils updates to ransomware recovery capabilities
"Organisations face increased risks from the volume and sophistication of ransomware attacks prevalent today."
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition
In almost every respect it works like a book, apart from the fact that it weighs next to nothing, fits in my hand perfectly, and is soothing on my eyes.
Story image
Data
Aussie data & analytic execs not confident in data strategy
Less than half of Australian data and analytics leaders are confident in their data strategy as siloes and lack of culture prevent innovation.
Story image
Telstra
Telstra and Silver Trak Digital delivers 5G to the cinemas
Telstra and Silver Trak Digital say they've launched Australia's fastest and most secure delivery of content over 5G for cinemas.
Story image
Open banking
A look at the rewards and risks of open banking - report
RiskBusiness says its report on open banking finds that while it holds much potential, financial services firms need to ensure they have robust, risk processes.
Story image
Mobility
Hands-on review: STM laptop bags
The advent of hybrid working has meant we need laptop bags. We got our hands on two of the most popular laptop bags from STM.
Story image
Application Performance Monitoring / APM
Why SolarWinds Partners will have big wins in 2022
We summarise the key recent changes that the monitoring software vendor has made to accelerate its channel business.
Story image
Wireless
Sony to bring new 1000X series WH-1000XM5 headphones to the market
Sony has announced the newest edition of its award-winning wireless headphones, with the 1000X series WH-1000XM5 noise-cancelling model.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Red Hat and Accenture expand alliance for hybrid cloud
Red Hat and Accenture have announced the expansion of their partnership, collaborating on new offerings to assist businesses in their cloud continuum operations.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SecureCo and IBM partner to deliver Intelligent Voice Platform
The partnership addresses the growing number of businesses seeking to digitally transform, by enabling operational optimisation and adaptive CX.
Story image
Appian
Appian awarded billions in damages against Pegasystems Inc.
Appian has been awarded USD$2.036 billion in damages against Pegasystems Inc as the result of a jury verdict in the Circuit Court for Fairfax County, Virginia.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Hewlett Packard Enterprise hosts Channel Reignite sessions
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) hosted its HPE Channel Reignite sessions in Sydney and Melbourne last month to reconnect with the channel partner community.
Story image
Manufacturing
HINDSITE wins Aerospace Xelerated Pitch Challenge with solution to support Boeing
Brisbane-based startup HINDSITE was the winner of the first ever Pitch Challenge organised by Aerospace Xelerated in partnership with Queensland XR Hub. 
Story image
Microsoft
Avaya expands Microsoft partnership to deliver OneCloud on Azure
The joint technology and go to market agreement will help customers accelerate their digital transformation initiatives in the cloud.
Story image
Tech Data
Tech Data to use Pluribus Networks’ cloud solutions in APAC
Tech Data says using Pluribus Networks' Unified Cloud Fabric solution will be a "game-changer" for its data center infrastructure customers and partners.
Story image
Firewall
Sophos named Gartner Peer Insights Customers Choice for network firewalls
The company earned the highest overall customer rating among vendors with at least 150 verified customer reviews.
Story image
Nokia
Nokia and Optus reaches new 5G levels using Samsung
Nokia and Optus have achieved the world’s first 3CC Carrier Aggregation 5G SA data call using a commercial Samsung headset in Australia.
Story image
Ransomware
Ingram Micro Cloud adds Bitdefender solutions to marketplace
Ingram Micro Cloud has announced the expanded availability of Bitdefender solutions on the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace.
Story image
Malware
Use of malware, botnets and exploits expands in Q1 2022
"As zero-day attacks and other vulnerabilities among companies like Google and Microsoft come to light, threat actors are quickly adjusting their tactics."
Story image
Cybersecurity
HackerOne launches Attack Resistance Management solution
HackerOne has launched Attack Resistance Management - a new category of security solution that targets the root causes of the attack resistance gap. 
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: Technics EAH-A800 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
Designed in Osaka, Japan, these headphones just exude quality. They aren’t heavy, but they feel well built and solid.
Story image
D-Link
D-Link launches new G415 Smart Router as part of EAGLE PRO AI range
D-Link A/NZ has announced the launch of its new G415 AX1500 4G Smart Router as part of the new EAGLE PRO AI Series.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Datacom, Micro Focus, SnapLogic and VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 6-12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Training
Fortinet training edges toward closing cybersecurity gap
The Fortinet Training Institute has made significant progress in closing the cybersecurity skills gap, on track to train one million people by 2026.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft unveils adaptive accessories for disability access
Microsoft is introducing an expansive Inclusive Tech Lab to give people with disabilities greater access to technology through new software features and adaptive accessories.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Three key security challenges facing the Australian insurance industry 
Insurance companies must ensure they proactively address security challenges and protect the privacy of customer data.
Story image
Gaming
Mastercard users can now use rewards points in gaming
Mastercard has launched Mastercard Gamer Xchange (MGX), allowing APAC consumers to convert their rewards points into gaming currency.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Google to enter the smartwatch market with the Google Pixel Watch
Google has provided a first look at its new Google Pixel Watch, which is set to make an entry into the competitive smartwatch market.
Story image
Wasabi Technologies
Wasabi opens new cloud storage in Australia with Equinix
Wasabi Technologies has opened a new hot cloud storage region in Sydney, Australia, using Equinix services. This is the company's 12th global storage region.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft unveils three new security managed services
Security Experts includes three new managed services, Defender Experts for Hunting, Defender Experts for XDR, Security Services for Enterprise.