Notebook vendor, Toshiba, is touting flexible working as the next big cash cow for channel partners, launching a new guide into ways of implementing and managing a mobile workforce.
General manager of information systems, Mark Whittard, said the report had a dual purpose: to promote flexible work environments to end-users and provide partners with a new sales tool.
"It's about lifting the pitch away from price and specifications," he said. "Partners can use this to talk to contacts about organisational change, greater productivity or increasing competitiveness and satisfaction among staff. It's talking about the problems a business is trying to solve."
In turn, selling a mobile ethic will take the focus off price, thereby giving channel partners access to higher margins on product and potential consulting revenue, Whittard claimed.
"Partners can increase their selling price - firstly by selling laptops over desktops; secondly, because they have taken the discussion onto benefits," he said. "They can be more inventive in their sales approach."
Focusing on a business issue rather than a technology could also give resellers an opportunity to take on consulting services and generate ongoing revenues, Whittard said. The guide is the result of a study undertaken by Toshiba last year into the use of mobile computing technologies in business. The report found there was slow uptake of flexible working practices, prompted by a mistrust of employees and a lack of understanding on how to manage staff outside the office.
The new guide is broken into seven chapters investigating why and when to consider a flexible working model.
It would particularly suit partners with medium to larger corporate customers, or businesses with large centralised locations, Whittard said.
While there are no specific promotional incentives or bonuses available to partners who take up the flexible workplace model, Whittard claimed increases in margin and sale value would help them to earn more rewards through its rebate program.
The vendor would also be providing training and sales support, he said, and would pass on leads from end-users interested in a more mobile practice. An executive summary of the report is available at www.isd.toshiba.com.au/sig/downloads.