Let's explore the reasons ECI's E-Automate is maintaining and adding to its massive customer base of Imaging Channel dealers and why I believe dealers should not, at this point, attempt to replace an ERP.
Today there's a copious of solutions for resellers to manage individual deliverables. The imaging channel resellers, managed IT service resellers, or our friends delivering office products. These reseller groups are in-fact consolidating and even converging into each other's spaces. This convergence is what started the search for the no bolt-on ERP platform.
However, after a decade of attempts:
"The No Bolt-On Platform" does not exist and isn't a reality for resellers/dealers." And even if one comes to market what would a dealer really gain? to warrant the distraction and cost to replace.
I believe, based on the massive customer base E-Automate has, they are, in fact, in a better position to accomplish my vision of helping dealers not only innovate but diversify as needed. Over the next five years, the print equipment and its services will see many challenges, consolidation, and new players changing the game entirely.
So, instead of replacing E-Automate, dealers should focus on building out their diversification and utilizing those systems which are relevant to the diversification's deliverable. Today's dealers must explore the technologies required for what they intend to deliver understanding; there is nothing that can do it all on its own with the expertise of the systems which are the global leaders in their respected sectors.
Some will ask. What about dealers wanting to delivering Managed IT Services? And others may suggest E-Automate is outdated.
Regarding the outdated argument, what's really out-dated. Today's dealers have not changed their print deliverable processess for decades. In all fairness when we examine E-Automate we see in fact they have modified as the dealers do. Print tracking, cloud service, and intergrading with other software providers are examples. One would imagine as the deliverable continues to modify so will E-Automate. But, frankly today they are matching the industry's changes without forcing the industries dealers through massive disruptions.
Regarding Managed IT Services, most of the Imaging Channel's actors have heard of ConnectWise, the most extensively used RMM and IT Services operating system in the world. Today the vast majority of dealers delivering IT Services, are using ConnectWise, again it's the most preferred MSP platform in the world.
Some suggest that the newer ERPs have better data. I ask, does the replacement have enough better data to warrant the investment and disruption to change? Again, I believe that the data available today through the legacy players is more data than most dealers use. Frankly, they should be using what's available before investing both time and financially impacting their bottom lines. After all, replacing operating systems is extremely costly in both money and time.
The Channel has the data, Now it's time the channel uses the data they have. It seems as many are getting sidetrack by the un-proven rhetoric over the realities of what currently exist.
For example, NEXERA, a BEI Services company, has been providing detailed analytics based on the world's most extensive database of print equipment and its services for over 25 years. NEXERA, integrates with E-Automate, providing dealers data needed to improve not only performance but profit as well. It's time the channel stops and learns how to search and explore the data they have over, hoping an entirely new ERP will miraculously improve them.
If dealers spent a fraction of the time they would spend in the ripping apart their infrastructure to replace the ERP they have. These dealers would be astonished by what they would discover.
The Imaging Channel has the tools, and yes, those tools will be a collection of software. However, right now, there is no one platform doing everything, and in the foreseeable future, there won't be. Dealers should rather invest in both human capital diversification, and deliverable diversification long before an operating system investment. Using the tools you have with open minds will lead to new possibilities.
Today's most significant threat to the resellers is not its operating system. Dealers must sell based on the market realities and should be focused on delivering services to those realities. Dealers investing in their diversification and understanding how to use the data they have to defeat their status quo will have the winning advantage.
"Status quo is the killer of all that will be invented."