VAR 2013

ANN_annie~sandy_shoulders_c [Converted]

With respect to the installed base orphan market I think we will see partners stop one-off consulting and quotes unless the orphan is on a support plan with the partner and has gone through a pre-paid review process.

There are far too many orphans who are marginal/poor quality and it is not profitable to chase them for one-off work that requires 4-6 hours to quote, 4-6 hours to project manage and then 25% (or worse) chances of “winning” the work.

Increasingly the orphans that I’ve seen are on outdated (unsupported) versions of ERP software, have no real idea what they’re running and often have one more quotes that they ask you to bid against. In some cases the orphans have even provided the competing quote detailed work plan.

There are always going to be sole proprietor consultants working from home who offer one-off consulting at hourly rates that are no higher than what they charged in 1986. Don’t base your business on the poor practices of other consultants unless you want to wind up like them.

Orphans on versions outside of the Sage support window should also be subject to a higher fee schedule.

Never be lulled into thinking that an orphaned user who “found you in Google” is going to become a loyal paying customer for years to come. Most pure “Google Search” inquiries are from users opposed to paying for support, maintenance, consulting or quotes. Ask yourself – what opportunity do these types of inquiries offer? Answer: Generally none.

There needs to be a greater willingness on the part of all VARS to walk away from low quality prospects. There’s always going to be a VAR in this market who will think these types of rules don’t apply to them — I say enjoy making $40/net an hour pursuing low quality and extremely  non-loyal orphan work.


TL;DR: If an existing user of Sage (or any) software won’t pay to go on a recurring annual support plan with your company – walk away.

Wayne Schulz is a consultant who writes about the ERP industry and technology related news.