Opportunities for Diversification: IT & Beyond Blog Feature

By: GreatAmerica on March 7th, 2024

­­Opportunities for Diversification: IT & Beyond

Updated 3/7/2024 Originally Published 7/30/2020.

The office technology space continues to evolve its offerings. Solution providers are constantly seeking out new and emerging ancillary solutions to add to their catalog in order to meet both the immediate and long-term needs of their customers. What better way to foster long-lasting, mutually-beneficial relationships?

Many historically print-focused solution providers are continuing to head down the path of diversification. If you find yourself aiming to evolve your office technology business, it’s important to be thoughtful in your strategy in order to protect the business you have, while continuing to win new business. In the last few years, we've all witnessed the rapid rate at which technology is advancing. As a result, we’ve seen new demands emerge. Successful solution providers are evaluating offering new products and services offerings, and considering new ways to compete with others inside and outside of their space. So what diversification opportunities are solution providers exploring these days? Read on!

Related: Sell More Technology with Office Equipment Leasing

Network Security 

Getting into the network game makes a lot of sense for print-focused providers. After all, copiers and printers hang on the network. In fact, understanding and being able to talk intelligently about the network is now the ticket to entry on many of the solutions we’ll cover here today.

Now more than ever, businesses understand what’s at stake when it comes to the security of their network. Not just larger organizations, but even small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) now understand the high priority network security should hold. Everyone is vulnerable to a security breach and the repercussions can be debilitating for a business of any size. If you, as the solution provider, can help your customers maintain a secure environment, they will be willing to listen to the solutions you present. 

With that said, the ability to protect the network and the desire of the ‘bad guy’ to get into the network, has never been higher. Keep in mind, network security is complex; there are companies out there that specialize in network security; it’s all they do. If you are considering going down this path, you have to know what you are doing. You’ll need to attain the proper certifications, resources, and expertise needed in order to understand how to protect both you and your customers’ interests. If a breach happens on your watch, that opens your business up to liabilities.

For that reason, many providers find it a good strategy to either partner with a third party who can guide or provide this service, or limiting their offering to a few specific niches. We’d be remiss if we didn’t point you to resources we have via our subsidiary, Collabrance, LLC, an outsourced IT provider in this space. If you want to learn more about getting into IT and security, the information available here may help. 

Backup and Disaster Recovery 

One niche of security we’ve seen our partners successfully enter is in the realm of Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR). BDR is a combination of data backup and disaster recovery solutions that work together to safeguard a company’s business continuity. The nice thing about BDR devices is they are lower maintenance and allow for solid recurring revenue and exponential growth. Getting into network security through a niche like BDR allows office technology providers like you to deploy a simple strategy that attaches your business to the network and grow from the inside out. 

Physical Security 

Another aspect of security is physical security, meaning on-premise surveillance, access control systems, or monitoring systems that ensure the physical security of an environment is maintained. This space involves some risk. For instance, if you get into monitoring or access control systems and there is a failure, you could be at fault. This creates a need for liability insurance to address that risk should it occur. The world of physical security is vast, and we recommend finding a niche. For example, we’ve seen some partners experience success in the surveillance side of this business. 


The cloud has completely transformed the telecommunications game. Though there are still enterprises using the on-premise model, we are seeing more and more transitioning to a hybrid or fully cloud-hosted model. The cloud has made it easier for those who aren’t a specialist in the area of telecom to play there, creating some opportunity for you to gain traction. 

Pro/AV Market 

When you hear the term Pro Audio Visual (AV) market, think conferencing technologies. There’s been no better time to sell digital monitors, cameras, conferencing systems and the software that supports all of these offerings. The recent entrance of Zoom into the AVaaS space with bundled video conferencing solutions, as well as several distributors and manufacturers moving in this direction, has only accelerated the AV industry’s move into financing and AVaaS offerings on other products. Overall, the AV space is still a traditional “cash” sale with very little maintenance or managed services to support the technology. Technology providers that can differentiate by selling monthly payments or “As-a-Service” offerings in the AV space would be very well positioned, especially in the current economic environment. 

Conference Room As-A-Service 

Video conferencing has never been more important than it is now. Many of us continue to work from home and we need to maintain face–to-face interaction. Pre-COVID-19, this market was already growing. We can only expect it to continue to pop even as some return to the office.  

We’ve all become more comfortable with technology and we’ve seen notable growth in conference room as a service offerings as a result. Conference room as a service is a bundled rental solution that includes the necessary devices, software and ongoing service and support. If you’ve ever been late to a call or virtual presentation because you couldn’t get your technology to cooperate, then you can understand the demand that lies in ongoing conference room support. Customers are willing to pay for an ongoing lifeline to reduce inefficiencies of technical issues associated with conferencing offerings. 


Software licensing has exploded. Considering how difficult it can be to go in and install equipment given the current environment, software offers a very clear benefit. With the ability to remote in, you reduce the IT resources needed for implementation. 

RELATED: Everything You Need To Know About Software Financing 

You do have to understand and be knowledgeable in the software you sell, but if you find the right niche that provides the right solution to your customer, you can make good margins on it. This creates a nice pickup to help fill the gap on some print volume losses. Here are a few examples. 

Citrix or VPN Licensing 

Especially in our current environment, people need a secure way to access their organization’s network remotely. The ability to perform my job depends on this software and many dealers and MSPs have seen a lift in this area of their business, especially post-COVID-19. 

Document Management Software 

Document management, often referred to as Document Management Systems (DMS), is the use of a computer system and software to store, manage and track electronic documents and electronic images of paper-based information captured through the use of a document scanner. Document management software is crucial to help employees scan, save, and share documents digitally and securely with team members. Digital workflows have only accelerated in importance with today’s distributed workforce; you can help your customers remain efficient and effective with their business processes with a document management solution. 

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment

You heard right! Some office technology providers are even getting into the electric vehicle charging game! Though only a handful of early adopters in the office technology space are currently implementing EV Charging Stations into their solutions catalog, it is certainly an area to watch. It is forecasted that that by 2025, 30% of cars will be electric. As electric vehicles become more common, employers may become more motivated to do their part to enhance the convenience and affordability for employees driving electric vehicles because it displays a company's commitment to innovation. Check out this story from The Cannata Report on how one provider is using ACDI’s Terra Energy Services’ electric-vehicle (EV) chargers, which it sells via a dba, Energy Options. You can also learn how GreatAmerica is supporting solution providers that are exploring this area through innovative EVSE equipment financing programs. 

In Summary 

There’s been lots of change over the last couple of years: The needs of your customers have changed, the way we do business has evolved, and new obstacles have formed. As a finance company, we are committed to creating technology financing solutions that evolve with your go-to-market strategy. By continuing to understand what your customers need and keeping your finger to the pulse of what others inside and outside of your space are doing, you’ll identify opportunities beyond print that will help you evolve into the future.


GreatAmerica is the largest independent, family-owned national commercial equipment finance company in the U.S. and is dedicated to helping manufacturers, vendors, and dealers be more successful and keep their customers for a lifetime. GreatAmerica was established in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1992 and now has offices in Iowa, Georgia, Minnesota, and Illinois. In addition to financing, GreatAmerica offers innovative non-financial services to help our customers grow.