Speakers representing major IT vendors discussed some of the challenges and opportunities facing the reseller community in North America. Aviviere Telang, who works for HP Consulting Services, spoke about Microsoft’s announcement that it will not offer support for Windows XP after April 2014. Users will need to migrate to Windows 7 or 8. Telang offered advice to resellers about how to broach the subject of migration with their customers. He commented that resellers should ask their clients such questions as whether their applications will be compatible with Windows 7 or 8, or whether their customers have requested they deliver Windows applications onto non-Windows devices. These questions will spur the customer to begin thinking about migrating to the more user-friendly Windows 7 or 8.
Bob Martin, national partner business manager, Cisco Canada, addressed the rising security concerns related to the cloud. Cisco is now referring to security as “the fourth architecture,” in a nod to its three other network architectures. As the cloud becomes more and more popular, security has become a greater concern. “To get people onto the cloud, security is an important component,” Martin said. Customer concerns about staying protected on the cloud are actually an opportunity for resellers, he noted. Ensuring that companies have the correct digital policies and rules in place is a way for resellers to add value for customers.
Greg Tobin, GM, D&H Canada, and Michael Schwab, co-president, D&H, explained that the annual Tech Show offers a chance for resellers to learn about new trends and emerging opportunities such as those discussed by Telang and Martin. “Resellers’ ability to get in front of manufacturers is quite limited,” remarked Schwab. “This show gives them chance to see what manufacturers are bringing to market.” Attending the Tech Show also lets them ask about a manufacturer’s roadmap, become a vendor partner and receive special discounts. Tobin added that the Tech Show offers resellers training on new technologies as well as sessions on how they can add value to customers and boost their own profit margins.
Schwab noted that one of the broader industry trends he has seen is that resellers need to become more than just hardware vendors. “They have to be a trusted advisor,” he emphasized. “They have to provide data security, remote access, cloud integration. Those things need to be part of their market strategy.” Although the content of next year’s Tech Show will undoubtedly be different than this year’s, D&H Canada will still offer valuable advice on where the industry is going and how to stay competitive.
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