The IT market tendencies and perspectives for 2018 in the United States, the most advanced marketplace in the world, will dictate the business rules for all the other countries for the next years in subjects such as IoT, AI, learning machine, SD-WAN cybersecurity.
Infor Channel Magazine talked with leaders of the most influential IT worldwide companies there to understand how the cloud, Communication Plataform as a Service, Management Service Provider, and WAN will support the large number of connected devices and how the channel can profit understanding the customer business as much as the technology and security matters in 2018 and the following years.
Robert Garcia, manager, channel sales of Shuttle Computer Group
Infor Channel – What is the main challenge of technology reseller for 2018, facing the current scenario of digital convergence and cyber attacks?
Robert Garcia – As digital convergence continues, a technology reseller needs to be knowledgeable about the capabilities and key features of the different technologies they provide to their customers. Resellers need to be tech savvy and provide solutions instead of creating more issues. In regards to cyber-attacks; it is better to take action rather than panicking about potential risks. In present time, we need many layers of defense; from network restruction, encryption, and traffic monitoring (internal and outgoing). Furthermore, and in worst-case scenarios have your data backed up to minimize damage from attacks.
IC – What are the major changes that must occur in the IT market by 2020 that are already impacting business right now?
RG – There is a current trend of unification in software and hardware platforms, an example of this is with the latest Windows operating system; Windows IoT. This platform facilitates and makes it easy for users to optimize and integrate their hardware solutions.
IC – What is the best way to position offer, as a solution composed of services and products and gain attention from the manufacturer/IT developer to be your partner?
RG – From a manufacturer standpoint, a solution needs to show the importance of their added value and benefits of their services. Solution need to be easy to deploy and incorporate.
IC – Customers are increasingly interested in joining the SAAS model. How did the resellers solve the portfolio of offers in the US? How did your company defined its portfolio?
RG – While SAAS model provides advantages, there are also disadvantages. A reseller should inform their customer base of both. A SaaS model cannot guarantee a secure environment; provide potential downtime, limit customization, possible information breach. Portfolios need to highlight security features, and more cost effective over long term.
IC – What is the main value that IT distributors can add to Cloud Computing solution integration companies?
RG – Apart from helping in the procurement process, it is crucial that IT distributors educate resellers and integration companies about new products. Some ways of getting this done is by training, event shows, and product evaluation.
IC – After the global attacks caused by malware such as Petya and WannaCry, was it possible to see a greater demand for information security solutions? In your opinion, what did the attacks teach about safety for your customers?
RG – It has become mandated for hardware, to have native support for security platforms that are intended to be used by our Military, Corporate, and Education customer base. These attacks showed vulnerability in network environments and helped to see the benefits in cyber-attack detection, mitigation, and recovery.
IC – How should a team be built within the distributor to take care of a value line that sells solution and not volume of items? What are the qualifications and job positions should be considered in the sales team?
RG – A team needs to be built with people that are passionate and communicate well; while there is often brilliant individuals that overcome difficult obstacles, it is important to hire people that will bring something new. This team needs to include technologists, sales, and a someone who understands business aspect to bridge gaps and ultimate provide a usable and functional end product.
IC – What are the key critical success factors for developing and maintaining a successful partnership with manufacturers?
RG – To nurture a good relationship with a manufacturer, here are three tips: consistent communication, proactivity, and honesty. Communication is key as it avoids confusion and resolves disagreements. Be proactive; address problems early and effectively; this will help to build trust and respect. Behaving honestly and with transparency manner will help to create successful relationship, as this will also increase trust.