Did you miss Channel Partners in Las Vegas last week? Fear not - we've jotted down some of the key themes for you. Take note!
Device as a Service (DaaS)
Device as a Service was the common talk and buzzword of the event. It seems more people are moving to a device rental program. When companies rent their telephone endpoints and other hardware, the cost is built into a telephony service contract along with the monthly cost of the internet and voice service. The difference between renting and leasing is that with equipment rental, you never own the equipment, whereas with leasing, the lessee pays monthly installments and owns the equipment at the end of the lease period.
Companies that rent their equipment are interested in an OpEx model, but don’t want to own the hardware. They just want an OpEx model that allows them to upgrade their equipment on an agreed-upon schedule (often somewhere between 2-5 years). This also allows companies to avoid the up-front cost of purchasing the equipment.
Cloud communications is not just a technology upgrade; businesses are learning that using cloud communications platforms allow them to step up their tempo in response to today’s faster pace of business. Customers have come to expect information and resolutions immediately. The pace of channel transformation is accelerating – this is creating tremendous opportunities for savvy solution providers.
One panel discussion addressed the state of the union for the channel and how the changes are impacting IT buyers.
- Applications and data will be increasingly fragmented across a new generation of infrastructure. The fragmented data problem stems from implementing a number of different systems and tools on a network that were not designed to share data with each other. This results in siloed data that is difficult to analyze, manage or even use. This negatively impacts competitiveness and could even cause regulatory compliance issues. To transform data from a burden to an asset, companies have to find a way to consolidate and simplify their data infrastructure.
- Service provider ecosystems will challenge the relevance of incumbent technology vendors. To compete in today’s marketplace, it is no longer viable to operate as a single firm in a given industry. Instead, companies need to be members of a business ecosystem, made up of participants and co-dependent entities from multiple industries, which could include enterprises, manufacturers, suppliers, customers, regulatory bodies, government administrations, and others.
- The new IT buyer will favor innovation over the status quo because digital disruption means the risk of changing nothing is becoming greater than the risk of failure. The pace of change has become so rapid that the risk scale has irrevocably tipped to the point where preserving the status quo is more dangerous to a company’s longevity than incurring the risk of change.
Opportunities to Serve SMBs
The SMB market employs 47.5% of U.S. workers, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, yet this market is underserved in the channel. The opportunities in servicing this segment were a recurring topic of discussion at Channel Partners this year.
Cybersecurity and the IoT
Cybersecurity and the IoT are top of mind with customers. For more information on how you can keep up with these trends, see our previous articles on network security and the IoT, the benefits of integrating the IoT with your VoIP phone system, and VoIP security solutions for remote users.
5G is poised to reshape the way we live and work. When they’re fully rolled out, 5G networks will be 100 times faster than today’s typical LTE speeds and five times faster than most terrestrial fiber optic networks. Our future will be data-driven, and 5G is one of the key technologies that will enable this.
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