Big revenue opportunity in help desks

Big revenue opportunity in help desks

Formerly a direct-only vendor, Bendata is turning to the channel in its bid to increase its share of the fast-growing help desk market.

Promising 40 per cent margins, big services opportunities and ongoing maintenance revenue, Chris McFadden, Bendata's general manager for Asia-Pacific, claims that there are significant opportunities for committed resellers and integrators.

A typical 10-user sale of Bendata's HEAT help desk system might cost $50,000 to $60,000, according to McFadden. Of that, resellers would cream their 40 per cent of the software sale, which typically accounts for a third of the total price. Most customers take the yearly support and upgrade option, which represents about 5 per cent of a sale. Half of that ongoing revenue goes to the reseller.

The rest is generally services revenue, of which the reseller takes the lot, McFadden said.

To help resellers develop service offerings, Bendata offers tools co-developed with industry experts, so that partners can work with customers to implement best-practice help desks. With the aid of these tools, resellers can show customers how to best structure the help desk and develop things like service-level agreements and help desk procedure manuals.

"It's a win-win situation all round," said McFadden. "The customer gets a best-practice help desk and the reseller gets the services revenue."

Bendata has dubbed its new channel program the HEAT Global Alliance program. It is charging resellers $12,000 to join the program, but for that money the reseller receives training and certification and a 10-user copy of HEAT for its own internal use.

Also, half of the money goes into a market development fund used to launch the partnership.

"We want Bendata and the partner to have a high-profile launch.

"We're trying to make sure our partners are serious and we want to provide them with enough knowledge so that they're going to be successful," McFadden said.

McFadden claims the help desk market is presently growing at 30 per cent year on year. He estimates Bendata, formerly Astea, owns about 10 per cent of the market.

Nine resellers a year

Bendata is looking to take on nine Australian partners this year and another nine the year after. Its ideal reseller would have revenues of more than $5 million, have at least 30 to 40 per cent software sales and have dedicated software salespeople.

"We're casting our net fairly widely, though, because we think our product is synergistic with most of the other offerings a reseller might sell," McFadden said.

Interestingly, the channel program has already been piloted in New Zealand. Bendata will also be showcasing their wares at Channelworld.

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