When moving into the vertical industry business, choosing the right vertical industries to target is essential. Learn about the latest opportunities in three hot verticals.
March 15, 2012
Developing vertical expertise can be a channel pro’s ticket to higher margins and deeper customer relationships. However, it is also critical to know which industries to target, what customers in that industry are buying, and how to close deals with those customers.
Learn about the latest market trends and opportunities in seven of the top vertical industries: education, financial services, healthcare, nonprofits, professional services, real estate, and retail.
Technology outlays by U.S. K-12 schools and higher education institutions were on track to grow just 3.4 percent in 2011, according to midyear estimates from analyst firm IDC. However, given that education IT is currently a $19 billion market in the United States, according to distributor Tech Data, there’s still plenty of money to go around. Here’s where the biggest openings lie:
SaaS and virtualization: Thanks to sluggish economic growth, anemic tax receipts, and shrinking education budgets, public schools and universities are striving harder than ever to reduce spending. As a result, server virtualization solutions that lower infrastructure expenses and Software-as-a-Service applications that free educators from hardware procurement and maintenance costs are both selling briskly at present.
Networking: Despite their airtight budgets, more and more districts are implementing wide-area networks to link schools with headquarters and each other. Deploying and managing those networks can produce solid revenue streams for resellers and MSPs.
Security: The rise of wide-area networking in the education space has spurred greater demand for network security solutions. In addition, many districts are deploying IP-based video surveillance solutions to help them cost-effectively monitor school property.
Education Sales Tip
Even solution providers with experience in education sometimes have trouble breaking into new accounts. The keys to success, many report, are patience and persistence. The more times you let a potential education customer know that you’d like their business, the better your odds of eventually earning a chance to prove yourself.
IT spending by North American banks will climb a mere 2.4 percent in 2012, according to research and consulting firm Celent. On the other hand, that relatively small increase will raise total outlays to a hefty $54.7 billion. Here are some of the places banks are likely to invest that money:
Analytics: With revenues down sharply, banks are using business intelligence technology to help them develop products and services more closely tailored to their customers’ needs and behaviors. Solution providers can help by deploying and managing those systems.
Mobile apps: Seeking to promote deeper customer engagement and loyalty, banks are rolling out apps for iOS, Android, and other platforms in growing numbers, creating rich opportunities for custom mobile app developers.
Data management and security: All of the customer information banks are collecting via mobile apps and scrutinizing with analytics software must be housed, administered, and protected. Banks are consequently spending more heavily on server and storage hardware, as well as management and security services.
Cloud computing: Many SMB-oriented solution providers with a financial services focus serve the nation’s more than 7,000 community banks. Such institutions face the same challenges as larger institutions, but have smaller technology budgets. That has an increasing number of them switching to cloud-based analytics tools, line-of-business applications, and other systems that often provide sophisticated functionality more cost-effectively than their on-premise equivalents.