Speak to those in the networking space and most will tell you that margins are decreasing and they are finding it difficult to add long-term strategic value in a market that is increasingly commoditised. Many recognise that simply selling hardware does not allow them to help customers address network and application performance problems.
End-user organisations are crying out for a way to manage networks and guarantee application performance. Recent research found that more than half of all European organisations are unable to guarantee the performance of their applications. A further 72 per cent admitted to lacking application-centric service level agreements (SLAs) to monitor and manage the performance of their mission-critical applications over the WAN. These performance problems come at a time when companies are expecting WAN traffic to increase. Most companies recognise that while increasing bandwidth is the easiest option, it is not a long-term solution.
The good news for the channel is that no-one has really solved this quandary, so there is substantial potential for resellers and integrators to expand their revenue streams if they can deliver a solution. The bad news is that many VARs are not in a position to capitalise. This is largely because resellers can’t provide businesses with the necessary insight into the network required.
For VARs, this is a real headache because they find themselves looking a gift-horse in the mouth. Some players in the channel have started to move into services to protect themselves from commoditisation. However, very few have got to the stage where they can optimise and manage a client’s network in line with their business performance needs.
What VARs and integrators need is the ability to link application performance objectives with WAN behaviour, thus allowing for the right size of bandwidth. With such a system in place, resellers would be in a position to offer clients the holy grail of networking: an application-aware network that can offer appli cation-centric SLAs and guaranteed application performance over the WAN. This will not only allow VARs to offer customers a flexible system that allocates bandwidth to ensure applications are always performing, but it will also allow them to move up the value chain and achieve better margins.
Mike Bailey is UK country manager at Ipanema Technologies.
The deal builds on distie's earlier promise to distribute a broader range of electrical goods
Services firm sees revenue increase 23 per cent
Execs Zak Virdi and Neil Lomax open up on the rationale behind acquisition
CEO Steve Brazier slams vendor titans at annual event in Barcelona