After purchasing Breadcrumb, a cloud POS focused on full service/fine dining, from Groupon last year, Upserve has put together a new program for channel partners. It’s important to note that Upserve will not have “Resellers” but rather “Solution Providers” since the program isn’t offering channel partners an option to purchase hardware and mark it up to the customers directly. More on that below.
To participate as a Solution Provider, channel partners must become trained and certified on Breadcrumb’s hardware, networking requirements and installation best-practices. Upserve wants to ensure that their channel is familiar with the protocol restaurateurs will use to interact with any of their hardware. Unlike other certification programs, Breadcrumb offers theirs for free.
Customers can either lease the hardware or buy it directly from Upserve at-cost. This means that Upserve is not marking up the price of monitors, stands, terminals, printers, KDS or anything else for the Breadcrumb POS product offering.
This is obviously excellent for the customer, but it also means the Solution Provider doesn’t have a hardware revenue stream. Upserve’s response is explicitly that it’s a SaaS company: it (and it’s partners) can be profitable with only software revenues.
Implicitly, there’s something else going on. That is, Upserve might recognize that customers can buy hardware online, directly at-cost from places like Amazon. Offering more expensive hardware than a customer could find with a Google search might then turn customers off.
For those accounts that are not yet using all of Upserve’s products, Upserve reserves the right to sell directly. So if a merchant is using Breadcrumb by Upserve and the Solutions Provider has not upgraded the account to Upserve HQ or Processing, Upserve can contact that account directly.
Solution Providers have the opportunity to build and sign a managed service contract with their customers. In this way channel partners can position themselves as the first point of contact for the customer.
However, Breadcrumb also offers free 24-7 remote support. There’s nothing keeping the customer from dialing Breadcrumb first and seeing if they can remotely diagnose the problem gratis; I would expect most merchants to try this course of action first, especially as remote support becomes the faster, cheaper way of solving problems.
We’ve thought the real value of cloud POS to the reseller network was the opportunity to seamlessly plug in third party solutions for additional revenue streams. Breadcrumb does a great job making POS integration free and easy… which is much more than other POS companies can say (as of this writing even Revel charges integration fees).
Upserve enables Solution Providers to sell services like security implementation, audits, menu configuration and more. Initial implementations, however, can be had by merchants directly from Upserve at no cost, so there could be a conflict of interest.
There is perhaps no service more lucrative than consulting, and Upserve HQ makes this revenue stream easier with analytics. Through extracting relevant data, the Solution Provider can now sit down with the customer and charge an hourly rate for assistance in implementation. If the channel partner doesn’t have the skill or time they can partner with a local resource and subcontract the work. Even better!
Lastly, unlike other reseller programs Upserve does not have any territory restrictions to channel partners. Some Solution Providers will welcome the relief, others might be miffed. Who are we to say what’s best?