The economy may be down, but Intuit's having a good year. I've already written about why I think IT consultants should embrace Intuit products, and I've offered a look into Intuit's QuickBooks 2009 ProAdvisor certification. So how can consultants specifically leverage QuickBooks' success? Three opportunities for earning ProAdvisor certification come to mind.
IT consultants certified in QuickBooks Point-of-Sale (POS) are well positioned to capture new clients. Many retail outlets are reviewing their cost-reduction options, and Intuit's POS software is winning converts. The company is also offering aggressive rates on credit card merchant services, further positioning Intuit's POS package competitively within the marketplace.
Consultants benefit when retailers migrate to the QuickBooks POS platform, as outdated hardware often requires upgrading or outright replacement. Many retailers boast multisite operations, meaning numerous systems must be purchased, deployed, and configured. VPN and other network equipment and systems must also often be implemented to assist in passing daily sales information to headquarters.
These sales of new hardware equipment, installation and deployment labor, and networking services often create newfound profits for IT consultancies. Further, multisite retail operations frequently require ongoing maintenance, which makes such prospects a natural maintenance contract client.
QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions
Intuit's refined QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions functionality and tweaked database engine performance, making its larger-scale financial software package better tuned for larger businesses. Many organizations outgrowing Intuit's regular QuickBooks products can save untold thousands by opting to deploy QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions as opposed to other middleware platforms.
Typical IT consultant opportunities that result from QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions deployments are workstation upgrades, workstation replacements, server upgrades, and even new server deployments. Clients migrating to the enterprise platform are also excellent prospects for ongoing maintenance contracts. By securing QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions certification, IT consultancies can best position themselves to land such projects and the accompanying profits.
Credit card merchant services isn't the only arena in which Intuit's aggressively moving; the company is also dedicating resources to engaging the project management and CRM space. Its QuickBase platform targets the wide-open database application segment, which provides properly trained and certified IT consultants with an outstanding opportunity to build compelling business information platforms once and sell and deploy that same solution multiple times to numerous clients.
Intuit assumes responsibility for upgrading and maintaining the database platform; IT consultants only need to develop specific programming that meets the needs of the manufacturer, the service provider, the nonprofit, and other organizations.
The QuickBase platform holds tremendous potential, especially considering its ability to tackle CRM, project management, and other issue tracking tasks within a single, secure online portal.Get weekly consulting tips in your inbox TechRepublic's IT Consultant newsletter, delivered each Monday, offers tips on how to attract customers, build your business, and increase your technical skills in order to get the job done. Automatically sign up today!
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.