Technology and Business Investments are Key to Success After COVID-19
According to ChannelCon Online panelists, preparing your business to take advantage of opportunities and new markets will give you a competitive advantage after COVID-19. session. Companies that are able to empower themselves now, by investing in new technologies, skills, and services, have a better chance of recovering quicker and securing long-term success after the current economic crisis. It happened during the Great Recession and it will again, executives said during a Power Panel at ChannelCon Online entitled “What’s Next for Channel?”
“Many on the channel were trying not to go out of business in 2008, and many were struggling to survive. But those who were able to invest became more resilient when things improved. It’s an economic dynamic that exists, and hopefully we’ll be able to see it in the channel today,” Carolyn April, CompTIA senior director of industry analysis, said as moderator.
The sentiment was shared by the other panelists. Preparing your business now to capitalize on new opportunities and new markets will give you a competitive advantage when “normalcy” returns.
AppSmart’s vice president of sales operations and operations, Tim Basa, stated that many of his partners took the time to train and educate their staffs during COVID-19. This should be a good thing for them moving forward. Basa stated, “They’ve said, ‘What can they do?'” Maybe they haven’t sold this product suite before or they didn’t sell SaaS. But they wanted to pivot to SaaS.
According to Amy Luby, Acronis’ channel chief evangelist, 25% of channel companies disappeared during the last recession. This could happen again due to COVID-19, but we’re likely see an influx in new channel partners just like last time.
She said that many are operating at breakeven, even in a strong economy. Many people who have been let go from corporate jobs are looking to do things differently and more creatively than the traditional business model. Although it can be very challenging, if you are open to creativity and willing to change, you can do great things for your business and your clients.
Juan Fernandez, vice-president of managed IT services at ImageNet Consulting, and vice-chair of CompTIA’s Channel Development Advisory Council, said that creativity often comes from necessity. He expects advancements around the powering of the new mobile workforce, and improving customer experience.
“That’s the chance we have to innovate during this period. Fernandez stated that it’s 100% necessary to think differently.
From Technology Advisor to Business Consultants
Basa says that COVID-19 will help MSPs and solution providers get closer to their customers. Restaurants that have never done takeout before have shifted their business to this model and rely on solution providers to provide them with the technology and processes.
“Now, the business advisor can take that solution to another customer and say, “Here’s what’s happening across town with another company, and here’s some technology to help us do it,” he said. “The channel is now a champion for business.”
ImageNet’s Fernandez said that tech companies are increasingly introducing new technologies like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things as part of this transformation.
“Customers want to create future solutions to bridge the digital divide. The channel can help them implement AI, IoT, computer learning, and infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service into their business model. They are creating a better customer experience by utilizing tech. He said that customers love this approach.
Solving business problems becomes a priority
Customers are increasingly demanding more from MSPs than just technology solutions. Basa stated that customers are hungry for more collaboration.
“They trusted someone for technology and marketing before, and now they’re building masterminds within their organization and asking, “How can we solve this problem?” Many of our partners are having a record-breaking year because of the brainstorming. Customers are taking a leap. He said, “It’s not crawl, run, walk; it’s let’s jog, sprint.”
Luby reports that these changes in relationships are having a side effect: MSPs are also gaining more power over their vendor partners.
“It took almost 20 years for vendors understand that community engagement with MSPs is crucial to driving adoption of the product sets. She said that COVID-19 has helped accelerate cloud adoption and emerging technology adoption.
MSPs can introduce cloud-based solutions for customers who require remote functions.