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It’s Not The Everything, It’s The People: Challenging Traditional Managed Services Partnerships

A managed service for the network requires a strong partnership. There needs to be integration; not just tools, but the right people. This reminds me of Ants and Aphids, who have a symbiotic relationship where they mutually benefit from their working bond. This is how I see a successful culture of managed services, where a partnership is formed. Managed services have grown in popularity, pretty much in line with the shifting everyday consumer mentality around signing up to services as opposed to owning or running them yourself. In the financial services sector, for example, research from PWC found that 41 per cent of those companies surveyed said they’d plan to increase spending on third-party partner security, with 47 per cent of all IT services being delivered by service providers. It’s ......

Data Drives Business Success

Consumer electronics companies are under huge pressure to compete in an increasingly crowded marketplace. The challenge is not only to reach ever more discerning customers and drive footfall into retail stores, but also in meeting customer expectations relating to the brand experience. And all this whilst increasingly ‘one step removed’ from the customer; given that the proportion of total indirect sales is expected to continue to rise over the next two years. In order to get the right products to the right store at the right time, brands need immediate access to information.  If they want to respond to customer demand and market conditions to change course as required, they also need to tighten links with supply and sales chains. Unfortunately, all too often, it is still the case that bus......

5 Security Trends That Threaten Your Network Hive

A bee hive is an industrious place of team work, communication and productivity. Worker bees communicate and work together in an intricate and finely balanced system harvesting pollen and protecting their assets to produce the highest quality and volume of honey possible. Now imagine a vulnerability in one of the entrances to the hive, and a passing wasp taking its opportunity to force entry, steal, feed and wreak havoc. Your business is its own hive of information and opportunist hackers will seek out vulnerabilities to hack your systems or data. As a bare minimum, this impact will be significant disruption to your workforce and possibly irreparable brand reputation damage. Building and maintaining a positive and visible brand reputation is vital for business success. But reputation can v......

The Future Of Channel Marketing

The way in which channel marketers communicate and influence end users has changed dramatically over the past seven years. Partner marketers understand the importance of a brand and its online reputation. They have adapted their marketing strategies to incorporate modern marketing tactics, ensuring the right messages are reaching the right audiences using the most appropriate channels. It’s the vendors who need to adapt and change the way they market themselves through and with their partners in order to succeed. Long gone are the days of ‘build it and they will come’. Partners don’t want to use vendor events or campaigns-in-a-box anymore, let alone GRID campaigns or marketing portals with pre-populated, generalised marketing assets. Some vendors even try to sign-up partners to pre-package......

The Rocky Road From Tin Shifting To Delivering Services

Prior to the cloud computing boom, reseller organisations were focused on “tin-shifting” – selling ICT hardware to businesses. Today the economic climate is impacting business spending and the investment in extensive IT hardware seems unlikely for many CIOs and ICT decision makers. So whilst trying to maintain a competitive advantage, drive cost efficiencies and grow the business requires strategic investment in ICT can fall by the wayside. So how should resellers respond? The answer, is traditional value added resellers (VARs) need to adapt their business models to reflect the new ways customers now want to buy their ICT. The managed services delivery model can bridge the gap by giving companies access to cutting-edge technologies and management expertise, without requiring the high......

Help For Your Help Desk: 5 Tips For MSPs

Whether customers are facing business-critical IT issues or simply need a little extra support, providing a great help desk service is essential for the success of an MSP. By having the right people, technologies and practices in place, MSPs are able to work more productively and resolve issues in a timely manner, which leads to higher customer satisfaction. Without the backing of an effective and responsive help desk, MSPs cannot secure or measure customer confidence. Here are five important tips to ensure a more positive, productive and exceptional help desk experience for all involved: 1. It’s Your Time To Shine Whether you’re called upon as a “first responder” at a critical IT moment, or under more routine circumstances, go the extra mile and showcase your technical acumen. If yo......

Mobile: Taking The Channel Out Of The Experience

Online development today is all about mobile. Yet with many companies still playing catch up, the focus is on technology issues such as responsive design rather than the role mobile plays within the overall customer experience. Customers are buying from a brand – not from a brand’s mobile channel, web channel or high street shop. They are completely channel agnostic – and expect a good, consistent experience irrespective of device, location, time of day or activity. Mobile is just one part of the overall customer experience – not all of it. Mobile First Strategy Digital strategies are increasingly becoming mobile-first. Any new features or ideas are only considered if they work on a mobile device. The design of the mobile customer experience is shaping design of the desktop site and is hel......