Team Collaboration wants to provide channel opportunities

The move to team collaboration has provided numerous opportunities for monetisation and support areas for the channel to be involved, according to Comms365 Head of IoT and Products Nick Sacke (pictured).

He said that there had been an influx of new entrants to the market looking to make big waves, but the Channel needs to keep them as long term, loyal customers,

Sacke said there have been multiple networking problems for businesses looking to get up and running remotely during COVID-19. Not just in terms of user bandwidth, but in resilience, reliability and security of the internet connectivity and ensuring the correct equipment is available to use. 

“For applications to work properly and businesses to maintain continuity of service, it’s necessary for solid end-to-end infrastructure and reliable quality connectivity to be in place wherever the user is. Often, because of the diversity of infrastructure available, there is variation in application performance. Remote working adds further complications, due to the differentiation in home connections, offering each user a different experience. Additionally, some of the collaboration applications aren’t just connectivity bandwidth hungry, but they also consume a lot of the resources on the devices themselves, which ultimately leads to tying up processor power and memory, which can impact the overall user experience”, Sacke said, elliptically.

He thinks that businesses need support to ensure reliability in hardware, software, connectivity and performance – as well as security – to underpin their collaboration tools for users working apart from each other, whether that be at home or in the office. This is fertile ground for services like analytics, which, er, analyses .

“This can identify pinch points in the network infrastructure that can be remediated by network managers, and collect useful data statistics on quality of service and usage patterns. The channel has an opportunity to embrace these new service areas and offer them as value added enhancements to the standard offerings”, he said.

“At the start of lockdown, many IT providers were offering ‘free licences’, plugging the gap temporarily when the pandemic began in order to get people on the platform But this creates an artificial transactional relationship and doesn’t consider what’s going to happen next – what happens when the license ends? Is there any troubleshooting or support available, or does that come with an additional cost? Instead, Channel partners can offer value-added agile and innovative ways to help and support their customers in order to retain them long-term. By ensuring excellent user experience beyond the transaction point, you’re more likely to keep a loyal customer base.”