Flexible and cash-flow friendly for MSPs.
Traditionally, the procurement of support and service licenses by Managed Service Providers (MSPs) has been a labor-intensive process that becomes more cumbersome as the number of customers and IT assets under management increases. In addition, the necessity to track and manage a large number of contracts with multiple expiration and renewal dates exacerbates the complexity of the situation.
Furthermore, while most MSPs offer their customers a monthly billing cycle, they are often required to make a large upfront investment in support and subscription services supplied by their upstream vendors as, typically, those vendors sell the licenses for these services in one-year increments. The inability to reassign that investment to other services quickly and easily in case end customers stop servicing their monthly bill further aggravates the situation.
In order to address the above issues and to achieve consistently high profitability, MSPs need a powerful tool that reduces their cash flow burdens, increases their flexibility, accelerates new client acquisition and maximizes their service delivery options.
SonicWALL® FlexSpend is a powerful, partner-enabling tool that dramatically improves the flexibility and liquidity of partners’ investment in SonicWALL services, while lowering their capital and operating expenses. FlexSpend is the industry’s first and only licensing program that makes monthly service billing easy, flexible and cash-flow friendly for MSPs.
FlexSpend enables the alignment of monthly service revenues with license expenditures, thus improving cash flow. In addition, FlexSpend reduces sunk cost and service procurement time, provides rapid cost insight and adds significant flexibility to the management of services.
Minimize cash flow fluctuations.
With FlexSpend, rather than having to invest in a full year of services, partners have the option to limit their cash outlays for services into shorter time increments, for as few as 30 days. Service duration can now be set in terms of days rather than years, or to end on a specific date. Hence, partners can better align outgoing cash flow for SonicWALL support contracts and subscription services with incoming cash flow from clients.
With FlexSpend’s ultra-flexible service management, services are not limited to pre-defined, fixed-unit increments (e.g., 25 or 50 client licenses, or 50 or 100 gigabytes). Therefore, in addition to providing the ability to customize service duration, FlexSpend also empowers partners with the ability to customize or change on the fly the number of clients or gigabytes on applicable services. For example, to implement a unique quarterly CDP offsite storage contract, FlexSpend could allow a partner to quickly deploy a 90-day service for exactly 45 gigabytes of offsite storage, yet have the option to change the service’s number of gigabytes at anytime.
Drastically reduce time spent on service procurement.
FlexSpend cuts procurement down to one step. As long as SonicWALL FlexSpend Credits are available in a partner’s account, the partner can enable multiple services instantly on multiple units at once, all without having to purchase and activate a large number of individual service SKUs.
Similar to the different denominations of cash currencies, a manageable number of available FlexSpend Credits are available for purchase from distribution to replenish a partner’s FlexSpend Credit account.
Reduce sunk cost.
FlexSpend allows SonicWALL Partners to significantly reduce the potential loss of service value allocated upfront by letting them recover any amount of unused FlexSpend Credits beyond the first 30 days of service for any given product. With FlexSpend, partners can now instantly transfer previously allocated, yet-unused FlexSpend Credits in the following ways:
- Transfer FlexSpend Credits back into the available pool of non-allocated FlexSpend Credits
- Transfer FlexSpend Credits to a similar service on another unit
- Transfer FlexSpend Credits to another service type on the same or a different unit
With the flexible recovery and instant re-deployment of FlexSpend Credits as SonicWALL services, FlexSpend allows partners to significantly reduce the inherent sunk cost that is traditionally present across a large installed base of customers.
Gain rapid insight on service costs.
Utilizing a single, centralized reporting tool, partners gain better insight into their wholesale, recurring service costs and are able to build and intelligently price retail managed service offerings. These reporting capabilities also allow partners to easily understand both past and future service consumption for a more convenient billing of services and revenue forecasting.
Reduce renewal contract overhead.
FlexSpend allows partners to quickly pinpoint the presence of a large number of disparate service expiration dates. Its innate capability to potentially designate a single expiration date for any number of services renders the use of separate co-termination functionality unnecessary, reducing the large management overhead of numerous renewal contracts.
Q: How do I register for FlexSpend?
A: Sign up for the MSP Advantage Program. Contact your SonicWALL Account Manager to learn more about the MSP Advantage Program.
Q: How many credits do I need in FlexSpend for each service?
A: For most services, the number of credits consumed depends only on the number of service days, the service type and the product type. For other services, the rate will also depend on the number of nodes (client licenses) or gigabytes (CDP only) required. This rate is displayed in the FlexSpend Service Management interface, allowing partners to estimate the number of credits needed for a particular deployment.
Q: I haven’t purchased FlexSpend Credits yet. Can I try it first?
A: Yes. FlexSpend has a simulation mode that allows partners to experience how quickly and flexibly they can manage services. Under simulation mode, no actual services will be enabled. However, it will let partners estimate the number of credits needed based on actual products currently under management for any particular deployment.
Q: Can FlexSpend be used to add Comprehensive Support for GMS (CGMS)?
A: No. CGMS is only available outside FlexSpend. However, partners can add Dynamic Support in FlexSpend to any units managed under GMS. Following the current behavior though, adding CGMS will override any existing Dynamic Support that is running in the same units, including the support service component of CGSS.
Please keep in mind that once Dynamic Support is added within FlexSpend to units that have CGMS.
Q: Are FlexSpend Credits restricted to the account in my company that activated a FlexSpend SKU serial number?
A: No. FlexSpend Credits can be managed by any user that is added to the account under which a FlexSpend SKU serial number was activated. The functionality to add users to the same account is available in ‘My Groups’ in MySonicWALL.com. Credits are consumed on a first-in, first-out (FIFO) basis, starting from earliest FlexSpend SKU purchased.
Q: Does FlexSpend apply to Secure Upgrade units?
A: Yes. The expiration date of services or support in those units is extended by the number of service or support days added in FlexSpend.
Q: Can FlexSpend Credits be applied to products that my company did not register?
A: Yes. In order to manage products registered by end customers, customers must either share their products with a partner through the “My Groups” menu in MySonicWALL.com or transfer those products to the partner account. The latter option still allows the partner to transfer the products back to the end customer after allocating FlexSpend credits to them.
Q: How long does it take for products to actually reflect any changes made to them in FlexSpend?
A: It is conveniently fast. Typically, it ranges from 15-30 minutes (or up to one hour in rare circumstances). Each service in the process of being synced up will be highlighted in the FlexSpend interface until it reflects the requested changes.