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Building an OEM webinar business

Bryan Smith
Nov 26, 2019 6:00:00 PM

Every business serves some kind of need. With OEM software that does webinars, video conferences, internal video content management, and broadly speaking is a one-stop-software-shop for tele-collaboration, that niche they serve is the communication bottleneck that larger organizations almost universally suffer from.

Think of some larger organization, like a university, hospital, municipality, or large corporation. There’s all this hectic mess of communication going around if people are managing to communicate at all. People are texting, emailing, sending pictures via text but sometimes by email on their mobile devices, and individuals in those organizations are relying on he-said-she-said type information about what they need to be doing. It’s a real mess.

Collaboration software takes that mess and organizes it into a nice internally managed package that can help management build healthy, efficient communication practices, and can help the organization begin to compile a library of valuable employee training content, and can keep a good, secure record of communication in one internally managed location.

The same software framework works for their outside sales and marketing too. They might have a product launch, or a promotion that they need to get out there. Collaboration software lets them easily launch a webinar for external promotional purposes and it can manage all their webinar attendees with automated marketing tools.

A business that specializes in OEM software is all about having collaboration software that meets these needs, and selling it to these larger organizations that experience this need. They’re more than resellers… but not quite software developers.

They’re more like IT service businesses that help set up and configure the collaboration software that OEM providers make to fit the needs of each of their customers.

How do you get started doing this?

First you have to know an OEM provider of collaboration software solutions. Digital Samba is the leading firm in this field, and its product, Samba Live for OEM, is the obvious choice for people looking to get into this business.

Aside from having access to OEM collaboration software, you need two additional things.

  1. You’ll need the IT skills necessary to serve clients using the software that’s made by your OEM provider.
  2. You’ll need a list of clients that have needs in the area of organizing their digital communication.

It helps if you’re already in the IT service industry. If you’re in that line of business right now, then this is just another tool in your toolbelt to serve to your existing customers, and probably an angle to get your foot in the door with more.

But you don’t need to be an already-existing IT company to start building this kind of business. You don’t necessarily need to be already providing a bunch of other IT services to existing clients. You can, as an individual start-up, contact an OEM software manufacturer, talk to their support people, learn about their software, and approach prospective clients. Once you get your first sale, you are officially in the IT business.

There’s virtually no start-up costs to this, and it can provide an enormous value to your clients.

A good way of looking at it

Think of it as being kind of analogous to a car dealership. Car dealerships have a relationship to the car manufacturers they represent. They don’t make the cars themselves, that requires a huge scale of infrastructure and speciality that just isn’t available to the scale of a car dealership.

But they do have a service shop. They have to be able to work on cars, and do all the support that their customers need. Indeed, the manufacturers will require this from you before they let you start a dealership.

This is pretty much similar to how this business of OEM webinar and online collaboration software works. Only instead of selling to the public, you are selling to highly visible institutions with a very specific need, and who have a lot of resources available for anything that can help them with the communication frustrations that any employee working in these institutions will be able to sing to you for days about. Also, unlike a car dealership, there’s no start-up costs for land, buildings, and inventory. There’s likely not much in the way of advertising costs either, since, again, you’re likely going to be directly approaching all of the highly visible prospects you would have.

Is this a good idea?

The short answer is: Yes. But it’s not for everyone. This is a specialized niche that requires a pretty nuanced understanding of white-labeling, client needs, the state of the competition, and general information technology. It’s a business based largely on relationships.

There are very few start-up costs associated with providing OEM webinar and collaboration software to clients. If you are already in the IT services field, this can be a fantastic niche to look into expanding towards, especially if you already have relationships with clients that have this need.

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