Tech Trends: The DaaS Dilemma

Dec 9, 2021


Over the last few years, the Device-as-a-Service (DaaS) concept has been quickly gaining traction. In fact, according to IDC in its recent report, IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Connected Devices 2022 Predictions1, “one in five corporate PCs shipped in 2023 will be deployed through a Device-as-a-Service Agreement, and that share will only climb throughout the forecast period.”

Customers want lower costs, reallocation of IT resources to digitization of the business, the ability to easily upgrade to the latest technology and freedom from device management. Many customers also feel like bundling those benefits into a consumption-based model will help solve IT resource challenges and better focus on what is important.

However, “DaaS” is a broad and complex concept – sometimes even elusive – and building a Device-as-a-Service model can be difficult for a solution provider. An effective DaaS offering requires a sophisticated supply chain model in order to distribute, manage and dispose of the IT devices.

Elements of a DaaS model typically include some level of:

  • Device and software deployment and setup
  • Consultation and configuration
  • Manufacturer warranty / accidental damage protection
  • Flexible payment structure
  • Device protection – fire, theft, loss
  • Device fleet tracking
  • Customer support services
  • Proper data sanitization
  • Device disposal

This structure offers significant benefits to the customer. It can offer in-term and end-of-term flexibility for faster device refresh cycles so that the latest technology can be easily acquired. According to the same IDC FutureScape referenced earlier, DaaS offers companies a better way to match and supply employees with the suitable device at a faster refresh cadence. It may also enable a cost-positive solution that maximizes cashflow and ROI, and it eases the device management burden often placed on IT staff. Additionally, for customers looking to acquire multiple device types across brands (i.e., phones from one manufacturer and laptops from another), a robust DaaS offering from a solution provider can offer a consolidated solution in a single monthly payment.

DaaS offers companies a better way to match and supply employees with the suitable device at a faster refresh cadence."

From the solution provider perspective, a DaaS solution can drive monthly recurring service revenue, longer and stronger customer relationships and more sales overall. As a solution provider, effectively sourcing and managing this comprehensive of a solution may seem daunting. The investment in capabilities to support a DaaS model can be expensive, especially if the solution provider is procuring the devices upfront and allowing the customer to pay for them over time. One option to address this is for the solution provider to finance or lease the devices themselves and then in-turn, let the customer pay for them on a DaaS or managed service contract. However, this can be expensive and limit scale for most solution providers as the business will be accumulating significant debt. This would also have an unintended negative impact on the solution provider’s balance sheet. But when a solution provider teams up with a financial solutions partner who specializes in devices to assemble a holistic DaaS model, it may enable a more streamlined and scalable offering.

In this partnership, the solution provider harnesses their expertise in developing, deploying and managing devices. They are responsible for getting the device and/or software into the hands of the customer. They will manage the customer relationship, configure devices and provide additional services such as a help desk or IT support. They may also provide management of manufacturer warranties.

A financial solutions partner like DLL would then provide the flexible subscription-like payment options along with a full lifecycle device management strategy. The lifecycle device management includes elements like advanced device fleet tracking, options for early returns and insurance to protect the devices from accidental damages, fire, theft and more. It also includes an asset disposal plan with elements like reverse logistics and data erasure. All of this rounds out a scalable, secure, environmentally sustainable solution for device management.

DaaS Core, DLL’s DaaS building block for channel partners, may enable the holistic DaaS solution your customers are seeking. Contact us today to learn more.

1IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Connected Devices 2022 Predicitons. Oct 2021 - Doc # US47845322.