Creating channel margin through mobility

Creating channel margin through mobility

The increasingly mobile workforce continues to place new strains on static Australian businesses

(Front L-R): Nada Alterisio (formerly of HP), Karl Sice (formerly of Winc), Nick Beaugeard (HubOne), Craig Sims (CCNA), Hafizah Osman (ARN), Luke Howard (Brother) - (Back L-R): Wayne Harper (Zebra), Cam Wayland (Channel Dynamics), Michael Dyson (Advanced Mobile IT), Nathan Grant (Fujitsu), Matt Wynn-Jones (Counterparts Technology), Damien Moriarty (Retriever), Damian Noonan (Tquila A/NZ)

(Front L-R): Nada Alterisio (formerly of HP), Karl Sice (formerly of Winc), Nick Beaugeard (HubOne), Craig Sims (CCNA), Hafizah Osman (ARN), Luke Howard (Brother) - (Back L-R): Wayne Harper (Zebra), Cam Wayland (Channel Dynamics), Michael Dyson (Advanced Mobile IT), Nathan Grant (Fujitsu), Matt Wynn-Jones (Counterparts Technology), Damien Moriarty (Retriever), Damian Noonan (Tquila A/NZ)

“We need to understand the use case, how it’s going to be delivered and wrap a set of services around it so we’ve operationalised it to deliver the business value, and not just because we’re bringing to market a device,” he said.

Furthermore, HubOne founder and CEO Nick Beaugeard, said telco players shouldn’t be much of a concern for the channel and that it should be focusing on unique ways to market to stand apart from these players.

“There comes a point where you have to just stop and let the market do what the market does,” he said. “That’s where things like partner level IP becomes incredibly important because you deliver that overall package. No one can undercut you because no one can deliver your skew.”

Driving productivity

From a customer standpoint, Harper observed that a lot of the workforce still refers to portability instead of mobility.

“The difference between both is that mobility, instead of just taking your desktop application and using it, brings in additional information and data together,” he said.

Channel Dynamics director and co-founder, Cam Wayland said the conversation about portability versus mobility isn’t valid unless it is driven by productivity.

“It’s about the efficiency of what you can get out of it because you’ve got the device there,” he said. “It enables a rep to be able to do things right then in front of the customer while the customer is ready to buy. It’s a game changer for productivity.

“And so, while the corporate refresh might cost X dollars, if you can accelerate your sales cycle or anything else that’s to do with that, it pays for itself; the numbers stack up relatively quickly.”

Echoing Wayland’s observations, former HP mobility market development manager Nada Alterisio said productivity is driving mobility conversations across Australia, meaning the channel can strike up conversations around adding more value.

“The IT cost is irrelevant if you can help them with their ROIs,” Alterisio added. “The conversation around the total cost of ownership, while that is important and opens the door to a discussion, it’s just a tick in the box.

“The additional functionality around mobility services is where the channel can help add value in.”

Making a mobility strategy

Retriever Communications solutions consultant Damian Moriarty said businesses are moving beyond the stage of BYOD, instead reaching a level of maturity around building effective mobility strategies.

Michael Dyson (Advanced Mobile IT), Wayne Harper (Zebra) and Cam Wayland (Channel Dynamics)
Michael Dyson (Advanced Mobile IT), Wayne Harper (Zebra) and Cam Wayland (Channel Dynamics)

“Trends of BYOD that really took off earlier fell away in a lot of industries because they saw the implications of that,” Moriarty said. “That’s showing a level of maturity. But what’s really important?

“Security is an interesting point because securing these systems has moved beyond the device level restriction to something that’s a bit more broader. Because of that, solutions and the remedies for the security issues are far more complex and require a lot more understanding of how to manage your data and securing your data.

“There’s talk of context-based security, context-based access to data, which is far more challenging to implement than a simple remote access VPN.”

According to Advanced Mobile IT general manager Michael Dyson, the issue extends beyond the application level.

“The application level is interesting, but one of the challenges that we’re seeing is that so many organisations that are deploying field devices are using them for multiple purposes,” Dyson added.

“It needs to be applied over three levels. There needs to be the application level certainly, but it needs to be at a device level and also at the networking level. It needs to be controlled so that the devices — regionally supplied, or head office supplied devices — are all talking through a router that’s controlled under one network layer of software.

“And you need all of them because you don’t know who’s going to be on your network.”

Market opportunities

These challenges address that the channel is seeking help for education, especially for resellers when it comes to the changes that are rapidly shaping the mobility space and redefining mobility options.

“The most telling part of the IT reseller community, at the moment, is the change that’s upon us is just moving so fast that over the next two years what you did today is just going to be out of date in the next two years,” Harper said.

“You need to be thinking about how you’re redesigning and reinvesting at the moment around solution technology.”

Alterisio also said the broader channel has a role to play in this as the market opportunity for mobility is massive.

“In the data centre space, you’ve got everything moving to cloud and the network space it’s highly contested at the moment,” Alterisio added. “So partners can now go out with a device and together with that, offer an application or product set.”

Wynn-Jones called for more collaboration within the channel.

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