This week’s D&H ThreadCast highlighted increasing partner opportunities in professional services, as well as remote work and the future of work.
Jay McBain, principal analyst of channel partnerships and alliances at Forrester, spoke about the biggest spending areas for partners to take advantage of in the months ahead.
Forrester’s Jay McBain
The No. 1 spending opportunity in the channel is automation, followed by remote topology, he said. In third is the future of work.
“UiPath is going public in the next week or so, and they’re going to be worth $50 billion-$100 billion when they do … and they’re growing by triple digits,” McBain said. “And that’s a robotic process automation (RPA) company. We’re seeing no-code, low-code platforms, SaaS platforms explode in the area of automation.”
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, everybody was sent home with a laptop and Zoom account, McBain said. That won’t be enough for the months ahead.
“Now they’re asking questions about security and risk, and compliance and continuity, governance and all the managed services that come around that,” he said. “This new remote topology is a massive opportunity for the channel.”
Rethinking Business Models
Every company in every industry has had to rethink its business model, McBain said. And they’re rethinking it in the different sense of customer and employee experience.
“They’re thinking about e-commerce and marketplaces,” he said. “There’s a big opportunity in terms of serving that buyer serving those companies at a business level, more than just the technology level. So a bunch of converging trends are happening. Most of these were happening before the pandemic. But almost all of them were put on steroids because of the pandemic. So it’s interesting to start watching the changing buyer.”
We’ve gone from draining the entire supply chain of laptops last year, to increasing demand in other areas, McBain said.
“Where we’re making money now is, “How do I secure this remote technology?” McBain said.
Other questions include how to drive productivity and efficiency, how to be compliant, and how to build a continuity plan that’s more residential than it’s ever been, he said.
“And how do we look at governance?” McBain asked. “So these are the areas where managed services and IT providers can really build a suite of services that are recurring forever for upwards of 20%-30% of white-collar workers that may never go back to a cubicle. We’re seeing business model changes at a massive level. Seventy six percent of CEOs think their current business model will be unrecognizable in five years. We could talk about any company in any industry. Everyone is being disrupted.”
D&H ThreadCast Focuses on Professional Services
Also during the D&H ThreadCast, the distributor highlighted its professional services and the growing opportunity for channel partners.
Jason Bystrak, vice president of D&H’s cloud and services business unit, said professional services is a high-growth market that’s growing at five to six times the rate of overall IT. It’s also a very profitable, high-margin market.
D&H’s Jason Bystrak
“That applies for both D&H and for you as our partners,” he said. “Secondly, we know this market. We’ve done our research with the market data. We’ve talked to tons of our partners and tons of our vendors. And we know exactly what they need to be successful. We believe that we can help them do that.”
Tiffany Ward is D&H’s director of professional services. She was hired to build D&H’s professional services practice.
“D&H historically had some services in place, but it really did not offer a total solution across the board,” she said. “We’ve built out a full practice with end-to-end solutions to be able to augment our customers’ capacity and abilities, and also to bring new profit revenue streams.”
The practice offers …