Time to pause and reset

In the midst of market change resellers would be wise to pause, reassess strategies and reset where necessary, focusing on sustainability and growth hotspots like UCaaS and security, says Nimans Marketing Director Stephen Mcintyre.

The drive for resellers to become UCaaS experts is a top priority among the technology and go-to-market imperatives underpinning the channel’s future success, according to Mcintyre. “As cloud-based UC dominates, partners who can advise on and implement these solutions will be in high demand,” he stated. “Embracing recurring revenues is also key. The UCaaS subscription model requires an evolution of sales to focus on long-term client relationships. And prioritise security. With cloud migration comes security concerns, so offering robust solutions alongside UCaaS will be a major differentiator.”

However, barriers to positive advances in these hotspots still exist in the channel but they can be removed with the right strategic actions, believes Mcintyre. “Many resellers are accustomed to traditional business models and may resist adopting new technologies or processes,” he added. “Overcoming this resistance involves promoting a culture of continuous learning and innovation within organisations and providing training and incentives for staff.

“There is often a lack of professionals who can manage advanced technologies like cloud services, AI and complex integrations. Investing in education and certification programmes for employees, partnering with educational institutions and offering attractive career paths can help bridge this gap.”

As well as challenges, more positive trends and bright outlooks for the channel are emerging fast, including the growing adoption of cloud-based communication solutions which offer scalability, flexibility and cost savings. “Organisations are leveraging tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Slack for seamless collaboration,” stated Mcintyre. “The emphasis on security and compliance with robust encryption protocols and data protection measures represents another big opportunity. Furthermore, integrations with business applications are enhancing productivity, allowing users to access communication tools directly within their workflow.

“Overall, the channel is witnessing innovation and customer-centric approaches that benefit all businesses. The channel’s focus on sustainability is also a great development – we all need to play our role in avoiding a global disaster. Our smaller actions collectively add up to so much more.”

Continuous education, strategic partnerships and a proactive approach to market research are essential for resellers to maintain a strong grasp of the evolving ICT landscape

Education, collaborative partnerships and sustainability centric channel ecosystems are all key to unlocking the channel’s growth potential, believes Mcintyre. And the most successful channel players are already building Net Zero planning into their strategies. He firmly believes that the channel needs new ecosystems to effectively link Net Zero planning with the supply chain and manage the growing complexity of the ICT market.

“These ecosystems should focus on collaborative partnerships with various stakeholders including vendors, suppliers, customers and regulatory bodies,” stated Mcintyre. “Such alliances would emphasise open communication channels, shared sustainability goals and joint innovation projects, enhancing the ability to meet Net Zero targets through combined efforts and resources.

“Sustainable practices and certifications are also critical, along with adherence to rigorous sustainability standards. This includes eco-friendly product design, energy efficient operations and obtaining certifications like ISO 14001. These measures enhance credibility and appeal to environmentally conscious customers.”

Implementing circular economy models can help minimise waste by focusing on recycling, refurbishing and reusing ICT products and components. This approach reduces environmental impact and achieves cost savings. “Additionally, comprehensive education and training programmes focused on sustainability and Net Zero goals can empower the workforce,” added Mcintyre. “Workshops, webinars and courses on green ICT practices and technologies ensure employees are well equipped to drive sustainability initiatives.”

Advanced analytics
To achieve Net Zero success, advanced analytics and reporting are essential to leverage big data for detailed tracking and reporting of sustainability metrics. “Financial incentives and funding programmes can also support sustainability initiatives,” added Mcintyre. “Integrated technology platforms that bring together diverse ICT solutions and supply chain management tools are also essential. These platforms should be cloud-based for real-time data sharing, incorporate AI for predictive analytics and use IoT for monitoring and managing resources.

“This integration improves efficiency, transparency and the capability to track and reduce carbon footprints across the supply chain. By building these new ecosystems the channel can more effectively align Net Zero planning with supply chain operations, address the growing complexity of the ICT market and drive sustainable growth.”

But capital constraints can hinder resellers from taking the positive actions discussed in this article. To counter this challenge Mcintyre advises resellers to explore financing options alongside forming strategic partnerships to share resources and adopt technologies incrementally to mitigate impacts.

“Moreover, market awareness and customer education are crucial as customers may not fully understand the benefits of new technologies or be hesitant to move from legacy systems,” reiterated Mcintyre. “Engaging in customer education through webinars, case studies, personalised consultations and demonstrating clear ROI can help alleviate these concerns. At the same time, diversifying vendor partnerships and staying updated on regulatory changes ensures flexibility and compliance, enabling the channel to adapt more effectively to industry changes.

“Ongoing education, strategic partnerships and a proactive approach to market research are essential for resellers and MSPs to maintain a strong grasp of the evolving ICT landscape. And by proactively adapting to industry trends and shifts resellers and MSPs can unlock new opportunities and maintain a competitive edge in the evolving market.”

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