Virtual Offis is offering a free IBM server to lure customers to its new managed service offering. The managed service provider hopes to attract resellers to the program with the prospect of higher margins than they’d earn on traditional server sales.
Under the program, customers who sign a two-year contract use the IBM xseries server for free. With a three-year contract, the customer gets both the server and operating system for free. The hardware is located at Virtual Offis’ hosting facility in Sydney
Resellers will receive 10 per cent of the monthly fee, and can offer their own services on top, or sell from a portfolio of service offerings by Virtual Office.
Virtual Offis CEO, Craig Allen, said under the program, resellers who might earn $300 to $500 selling a server could earn “between $900 and $3,000 for selling essentially the same thing.”
The sale would be also be less time consuming, Allen said.
“Buying the server, getting the right server, taking it to the customer site – that’s something the reseller doesn’t even really charge for," he said. "With us they sign a service order and we’ll have it delivered within 24 hours.”
Outsourcing server maintenance was attractive, especially to SMB customers, Allen said.
“It costs about $100,000 to run a server – the major cost in there is skill sets,” he said.
By relinquishing onsite hardware and maintenance, the server became a utility, Allen said.
“It’s just like a mobile phone plan,” he said.
Virtual Offis will host a reseller information launch at the IBM Innovations Centre on July 30.
Allen hopes to sign 50 resellers to the program.