3rd Platform Sales Opportunities for the Channel
Carl Boraman, Commercial Director at Tollring takes a look at the sales opportunities for channel partners as we approach the next IT revolution. Often called the Third Platform by analyst firms, this revolution is where the four technologies of mobile computing, social networking, cloud services and Big Data analytics come together.
Increased worker mobility is a major element of this Third Platform. It enables employees to be more productive and it can help foster a better work life balance. However, this doesn’t mean the end of the office environment since certain roles and activities are better suited to a community setting.
We have found that the concept of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is not particularly favoured, in fact it’s often seen as ‘bring your own disaster’. For mobile ICT to run smoothly, mobile devices need to be owned by the enterprise, with standardised technology and operating systems that can be supported effectively. This has led to a big growth in mobile device management software, so enterprises can control and secure their devices as well as ensure the security of information.
Moving to the Third Platform and increasing the use of mobile technology may require a major change to the way a customer traditionally operates. And whilst many of the phones, tablets and cloud-based apps are not new technology, it may still require a transition.
Interestingly, resellers often find that their customers are more open to change than they are. The CTOs are already educated about Third Platform services and they know that they need partners with proven successes and references. This is where user case studies, awards and certifications are important. It can be the key differentiator.
Resellers need to be the experts and help customers to make the right decisions for their organisations. This can only be achieved by fully understanding the customer’s business needs and concerns. Resellers must also have a full knowledge of these new utility-based cloud service. The selling process then focuses on building trust and being able to understand the pros and cons of different solutions.
Delivering more cloud-based services may mean that profits are delayed until many months into a contract. But if a reseller gets it right, they’ll have long term and strong relationships with their customers.