Channel, Features, Middle East

The channel and Covid-19

The growing Coronavirus crisis has highlighted the channel’s resilience and strength as partners across the IT industry are now in this new environment of remote work. Reseller Middle East reached out to several industry experts to talk about the challenges in supporting their partners in tough times. 

Mario M. Veljovic, VAD Technologies
Mario M. Veljovic, VAD Technologies

Mario M. Veljovic, General Manager, VAD Technologies

“For the channel it’s all about relationship and that makes these times very challenging. We might be used to video conferences and webinars, but there is no alternative to direct and personal interaction in order to build a successful business relationship. Now we need to work harder and smarter to reach out to our partner ecosystem.

VAD Technologies’ vision has been ever since its inception to introduce disruptive and innovative solutions to the regional ICT market. Solutions that are very useful, especially now, where we need to remotely manage IT Infrastructure, business and relationships. In collaboration with our vendors we have been able to give our partners access to such solutions for their own use completely free or with very high NFR (not for resell) discounts.

Customers’ cloud acceptance and adoption – or cloudification, as we like to call it at VAD – and digital transformation is gaining massive momentum. Every customer has now understood the importance of a reliable contingency plan and how technology is playing a key role.”

Maya Zakhour, NetApp

Maya Zakhour, Channel Sales Director- MEA, NetApp

“As many of our customers are moving their daily work to online and remote working environments, there is a sudden influx of traffic and data. NetApp is working closely with partners to help customers sustain their remote operations, and understand if their infrastructure is ready for the next few weeks. We are helping partners analyse our customers’ capacity trends over the next 30 days and identify applications that might be running hot or storage systems that are overburdened.

Ensuring that their data and applications are available and performing to their optimum capacity is what customers are really concerned about these days. We see this as an opportunity for partners to also increase their customer support – especially in the education sector where institutions across the UAE support online learning initiatives to thousands of students. We are helping partners build and deploy cloud based EUC (End User Computing) and VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) to maintain the performance required for widescale deployment. Our solutions help customers manage VDI shared storage resources across cloud vendors and regions.

I urge partners to stay strong while NetApp is going the extra mile in supporting its partner ecosystem in these unforeseen circumstances which will allow them to continue serving our joint customers.”

Sakkeer Hussain, Director – Sales & Marketing, D-Link Middle East & Africa

D-Link SMB
Sakkeer Hussain, D-Link MEA

“One of the biggest impacts for channel players is the supply chain issues arising out of China and other markets. But we are definitely seeing this slowly trickling back to the usual as China opens up. However, the recent lockdown on passenger flights will mean that freight flights will become costlier and it will take a few months for normalcy to set in.

That being said, it is also a unique opportunity for partners to double down on software-led portfolios and make the inevitable move to digital offerings. Remote work and online solutions, software and applications are experiencing a high demand, and to ensure its seamless use, high-speed and high bandwidth home Wi-Fi networks are the need of the hour. IT infrastructures and technology will have even more of an essential role to play during these times, which the channel community must take advantage of. At D-Link, we will offer more flexibility and support for all our partners.

Terry Greer-King, SonicWall

Do not panic, instead prepare calmly for the next month or two and sit tight as we ride out this calamity. In every challenge, there lies an opportunity, pushing us to go beyond our comfort zones. Ensuring judicious cash management is even more critical now for partners. Stay strong and stay safe.”

 Terry Greer-King, Vice President EMEA, SonicWall

“As employees work remotely, there is a change in operational processes and delays are inevitable. Most organisations have deferred their IT budgets and spending and that could have an impact on the channel business. There is an increased demand for remote access solutions and therefore a demand for specialised channel partners who can help their customers in this challenging time.

Our channel partners and their customers need the funding and flexibility to make the right technology decisions for their organisations. Keeping this in mind we’ve launched certain sales programs and services (security-as-a-service and managed services) that work best for the solutions that we’re offering, and with the business climate expected in the weeks ahead. We also offer free training via SonicWall University, with pathways for partners to be at the forefront of today’s cyber security threats and solutions.

During times of uncertainty and crisis, one must work even more closely with their channel partners and the overall ecosystem. At SonicWall, we ensure our channel partners of all the support they need in each and every customer engagement to help retain the business in the long-term.”

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