‘Great Companies Are Built in Tough Times’: How Partners Are Thriving in 2020

By | Managed Services News

Oct 20

Some partners not just surviving but thriving in 2020. Here are secrets to their success.

Channel analyst Canalys reports a 4% growth in the EMEA channel in the first three quarters of 2020. This compares to an overall EMEA GDP decline of 9% during the same period.

“There is no question that channel has had a good pandemic,” noted Canalys CEO, Steve Brazier.

But what are partners’ secrets to success when it comes to surviving and thriving in the new environment? That was the topic of a recent discussion at CompTIA’s EMEA conference.

Tech Data UK & Ireland’s managing director, David Watts, said there are two aspects to consider.

Tech Data's David Watts

Tech Data’s David Watts

“The fourth emergency service” — that’s how Watts describes the channel in the first phase when lockdown started. He said the successful partners were those “who reacted fastest to support businesses and governments working from home. It was around mobility solutions, hardware – people running desktops, notebooks – and everything that enabled that to happen.”

Following that initial phase, it was “those who understood their customers’ needs beyond the basics,” said Watts. “Those who really understood the domain their customers are working in, they’re the ones that are thriving. MSPs and VARs especially supported their customers’ changing environments. I see great IoT solutions going in, analytics and better decision-making and moving workloads to the cloud.”

Helping Customers Make Better Decisions

Hollie Whittles, director of Purple Frog Systems, said the MSP leveraged technology to provide a business service to customers.

Purple Frog Systems' Hollie Whittles

Purple Frog Systems’ Hollie Whittles

“We provide data analytics solutions, working in many different verticals. [Some] clients have had a really hard time in lockdown,” she said.

Purple Frog was instrumental in getting its customers back to their physical workplaces safely.

“We used our advanced analytics solutions and tools like machine learning to plan, model and predict customer behaviour. We’ve been working with a national chain of gyms. They wanted to know the capacity limitations within each gym to know when they could open and how busy they [could be]. But the world’s constantly changing and we’re getting different requests daily. So, we help our clients use these models to help make better decisions.”

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Astra Duke, customer experience director, EMEA, at LogicMonitor, said partners are adopting technologies not normally in their stack.

LogicMonitor's Astra Duke

LogicMonitor’s Astra Duke

“One was around supporting videoconferencing, where it was never at the forefront for some of our MSPs to deliver as a service. We saw a huge increase for Zoom monitoring capabilities as people were deployed to their homes to work. MSPs could also monitor that videoconferencing solution, making sure they could apply their SLAs accurately to these new technologies. This is of real importance, especially during times like this.”

‘Not the End of the World’

“Great companies are built in tough times,” said Watts. “The message we’re trying to give is, it’s …

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