Think of 2014 as the year the margin died.
Although margin on maintenance and services resold from ERP publishers hasn’t gone completely away – I’ve little doubt that it will. And soon – meaning within 5 years. Popular third party vendors are already signaling their intent to the channel. That’s why I recommend that the only direction a consulting firm should take is one which enables them to develop their own sources of recurring revenues. These can be self-created support plans, enhancements or niche services that are difficult for competitors to duplicate.
Let 2014 be the year you completely disallow hourly billing or any type of per call “break fix” support. You’ll be happy you got an early start when the margin you rely on now dies off in five years as I predict.