How Stormguards conquered the B2B market with Cloud-only strategy

20.6.2024 | Success Stories How Stormguards conquered the B2B market with Cloud-only strategy

Stormguards GmbH embraced a forward-thinking Cloud-only strategy early on, leading to significant revenue and efficiency gains. By launching their own B2B shop, this system house provided customers with a digital gateway to a diverse product portfolio.

Cloud technologies have become a crucial component of modern business strategies in recent years. While Cloud Computing has established itself in Germany, the growth potential remains immense. According to the Bitkom Cloud Report 2023, in five years, 56 percent of all companies aim to run more than half of their IT applications from the Cloud. Currently, this figure stands at just 15 percent. Of the surveyed companies, 89 percent utilize Cloud Computing to a lesser extent, 8 percent are planning to adopt it, and only 3 percent show no interest in the Cloud.

Some select companies are embracing a "Cloud First" or even a "Cloud Only" strategy: IT infrastructures, platforms, or applications are primarily or exclusively developed and utilized in the cloud, with cloud services playing a crucial role in many business processes. But is the Cloud-Only approach also a viable and particularly promising concept for system houses? Absolutely, according to Timo Zimmerschied, the Managing Director of Stormguards GmbH.


Cloud-Only strategy as a recipe for success

The IT company based in Vallendar, near Koblenz in Rhineland-Palatinate, was founded in 2018 with a clear Cloud-First approach. However, founder Timo Zimmerschied, who recognized the potential of Cloud Computing early on, felt that this was not enough. Over the past few years, he transformed the company into a pure Cloud-Only service provider. This strategic shift has proven to be a wise decision, leading to a significant increase in revenue and efficiency in day-to-day operations, as well as garnering extremely positive feedback from customers.

But how did all this come about? Since 2023, Stormguards has been operating on the Cloud-only principle. And that's 100%, even in consulting and collaboration with clients: "If a client doesn't align with our approach, we may even end the business relationship. We are a cloud-centric company and expect the same level of commitment from our clients for successful collaboration - we make no exceptions," explains Timo Zimmerschied. Is this too radical of an approach? "No," says Zimmerschied. "Many clients are actually grateful that they are somewhat forced to engage with the topic of Cloud."

However, the shift towards a Cloud-only system house had not only positive effects, on the contrary, it initially led to a decrease in hardware sales - and fewer hardware sales also mean less service provision. During regular quarterly meetings with clients, Zimmerschied noticed that laptops, printers, and other office products were being procured almost exclusively online - because it was faster and cheaper than ordering through the system house and potentially being tied to the schedule of their own contact person.


Cloud-based B2B shop as a revenue multiplier

A solution had to be found for this procurement challenge. "That was the pivotal moment for me to delve deeper into the option of having our own shop," reflects Timo Zimmerschied. Having been familiar with ITscope as a comparison platform from his previous employer, the Managing Director incorporated the tool into Stormguards upon its establishment: "The time I save on daily tasks with ITscope is simply invaluable," Zimmerschied notes. The user-friendly and cloud-based B2B shop solution from ITscope serves as the perfect complement: "With the B2B shop, I can offer our entire product portfolio to customers online at any time, and thanks to the extensive catalog of 7 million articles, I don't have to worry about content. Most of our customers already know what they need without extensive consultation and can order it specifically through the shop."

This is evident in the revenue generated: Since the beginning of 2024, Stormguards has earned around €250,000 solely through the shop. "80 to 90% of this revenue would not have been possible without the shop - and the full potential has not yet been fully realized," the Managing Director reports.


Mastering onboarding: The key to success for Stormguards' B2B shop

The key to success in encouraging customers to order via the B2B Shop in the long term, according to Zimmerschied, lies in a thorough onboarding process at the beginning. Providing a detailed introduction to the shop and creating collections is crucial here. "This is how the B2B shop solution works very well for us and has been well received by our customers, with a growing interest in E-Commerce," Zimmerschied further explains.

The implementation of the shop at Stormguards was also straightforward, as described by Zimmerschied: "Setting everything up was quick and easy. I can confirm your promise that the shop can be set up in 5 minutes. I would wholeheartedly recommend the shop to any system house to generate additional revenue - those who don't do so are missing out."

Shop costs? Already paid off at Stormguards

Not only does the shop save a tremendous amount of time in daily operations, but it also effortlessly helps Timo Zimmerschied maintain his partner status with various manufacturers through Stormguards: "Our shop alone generates such high revenues with many manufacturers that we no longer need to actively pursue sales to maintain our status," the Managing Director rejoices.

Furthermore, the shop streamlines and minimizes manual processes to the bare essentials. "From order placement to supplier inquiries to invoicing, I have no involvement whatsoever – everything runs seamlessly in the background through the shop, without any effort on my part. The entire sales process, from creating quotes to follow-ups, order processing, and manual execution, all occurs without my intervention. This easily saves me around 15 to 20 minutes per transaction. And with such savings, the costs of the shop are no longer up for debate – when cumulated over a month, it equates to the work hours of a full-time employee, which, to me, outweighs the price of the shop."


Increased revenue, happier customers: The success formula of Stormguards

Zimmerschied highlights the key benefits of the shop, emphasizing the significant time savings it offers, especially for the sales team. Manual tasks are minimized to the fullest extent, even in procurement. Additionally, the substantial revenue growth facilitated by the shop adds to its appeal. This growth is further enhanced by effective cross-selling strategies: the shop's frontend allows for the display of complementary or alternative products, driving additional sales.

Though not easily quantifiable, Zimmerschied highly values customer satisfaction: "Our customers' feedback on the shop is fantastic: they can place orders online 24/7 and receive their purchased items at home within one to two days."

In conclusion? "We see even more potential as the shop system is fully scalable. Currently, we lack the time and necessary personnel resources, but things are already running smoothly for our current situation. With each new customer onboarded to the platform, there is a certain investment: initial discussions, setup, and training can easily take two to three hours. However, we gladly invest this time as almost all our customers are convinced of the concept thereafter."


Are you ready to experience the benefits of the ITscope B2B Shop for yourself?

With ITscope's E-Commerce solution, system houses can effortlessly create B2B online shops with customized products, prices, and design elements, without the need for complex individual development. In just a few minutes, the shop is ready for your end customers. The B2B shop solution for business customers is available to you through the ITscope Sales Packages Advanced and Complete.

Curious to explore the possibilities of a B2B shop with ITscope? Simply reach out to us to learn more:

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Timo Zimmerschied, Managing Director of Stormguards GmbH

Timo Zimmerschied, the visionary leader at the helm of Stormguards GmbH, made a bold move in 2018 by venturing into entrepreneurship with a cloud-centric strategy. Located in Koblenz (Vallendar), Stormguards GmbH is an esteemed IT service provider specializing in catering to the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises. By 2023, the dedicated team at Stormguards had grown to include 13 skilled professionals, offering comprehensive IT support and innovative solutions in IT services, cybersecurity, IT infrastructure, and Cloud Computing.