Seven cloud-centric MSPs talk challenges, approaches and, in one case, the all-important issue: financials.
If the experience of one cloud-centric managed service provider can be considered a reflection of its peers, then MSPs throughout the channel are dealing with delays on planned projects while tackling an onslaught of unexpected deloyments, all due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Channel Futures recently spoke with seven MSPs but only one talked with us about how business demand specifically has changed as a result of the novel coronavirus that now has spread throughout the United States. At Maven Wave Partners, a Google Cloud premier partner, some customers have deferred implementations that were in the pipeline while others have accelerated suddenly critical work-at-home deployments.
“To date, the puts roughly equal the takes, so our business growth has continued consistent with pre-COVID-19 times,” said Jason Foa, managing director of infrastructure at Maven Wave. But, he added, “whether that situation will hold is unknowable.”
It seems safe to say that that sentiment applies throughout the channel (and beyond). And yet, MSPs are charging forward, as they must. COVID-19 is forcing many enterprises to enable remote work access via the cloud, often in as few as 48 hours, or risk shutting down altogether.
“We’re seeing a significant increase in tickets and calls as people set up their remote work environments,” said Mary Stanhope, chief marketing officer at Unitas Global, which partners with all the major hyperscale cloud vendors.
That squares with what Ken Presti, vice president of research and analytics at Avant, a master agency that offers a range of cloud communications platforms, is encountering.
“From what I’m hearing, the channel is receiving an influx of calls around this,” Presti said. “Channel partners’ phones are just about melting as the inquiries come in — and it all comes down to two questions: ‘How fast can you help me?’ and ‘How can we do this as smoothly as possible?’”
Some research firms are scrambling to tally just exactly how much remote work has gone into action as a result of the coronavirus; there are no statistics yet that provide an accurate picture. Global Workplace Analytics and Iometrics launched a benchmark survey on March 27 that, when complete, will shed light on the proliferation.
Despite the lack of formal numbers and additional anecdotal MSP input, it is clear that work-from-home deployments are on the rise because of COVID-19. And cloud technology is vital to getting organizations and their employees up and running from wherever they are quarantined as quickly as possible. For SADA, which partners exclusively with Google Cloud, this has meant shifting the company’s focus from how to sell to how to serve, CEO Tony Safoian told Channel Futures.
“That includes changing the way we talk to customers, offering additional support and being super responsive to meet their immediate needs,” Safoian said. “Everyone wants to get back to normal as fast as possible but right now, the best we can do is help each other get through this.”
Once COVID-19 dies down, the businesses throughout the world that abruptly …
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