It’s refreshing to hear about a growth story when other economic statistics beg us to be depressed. So, here’s one for you: the 1nService organization, which is a group of regional integrators and VARs who act both individually in their respective local markets and collectively across North America, has taken on five new affiliate members.
Get this: they have to pay a membership to belong, on that is calibrated to the amount of revenue they’re pulling in on an annual basis. ($550 per month if you’re less than $5 million in size and $1,100 per month if you’re over that amount.)
This brings the total membership of 1nService to 35 companies, which is about 50 percent more than at this time a year ago. The new members are Ausgar Technologies, San Diego (focused on development and high technical integration services); Business Information Group, York, Pa. (which has been behind some cool wireless projects that I’ve written about in the past); Henry Brothers Electronics, Fairlawn, N.J. (a security integration company just down the street from me!); Quest, Sacramento, Calif. (which just snagged a service partner of the year award from Cisco); and ISC, Englewood, Colo. (which has advanced status with vendors including Cisco, EMC, VMware and Microsoft)
The main idea behind 1nService, one that started with its six founders, is for member companies to share best practices across their respective businesses. They also adopt common operating principles so that if a customer needs multi-regional support, they can tap 1nService to help out, without seeing any difference in how they are supported across the country.
Although 1nService doesn’t act as a channel buying collective, new members also tend to bring new vendor partners to the table, which can extend reach on both sides of the channel, says Paul Cronin, CEO of the group. Incidentally, 1nService is testing something called a supplier member mentor program. That means if a high-tech vendor that is already affiliated with the group wants to help sponsor a 1nService membership for one of its resellers, VARs or integrators, it can do so. (Suppliers will have to pay the $1,000 monthly rate to sponsor a member.)