'Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow,' sang Vaughn Monroe, and a long list of other people thereafter. Yuletide songs and carols, films, pictures and Coca Cola adverts have permanently imprinted upon our national psyche and consciousness the idea that snow, at this time of year, is romantic, magical and something for which we should all be grateful.
But then it did snow and we soon realised that in UK businesses that equates to a pain in the proverbial, and a dent in the UK’s ailing economy (to the tune of approximately £1 billion for every day of snow).
Of course, some people benefit from the snow. The work-shy, salt miners, sledge manufacturers and a select and lucky percentage of the crystallised water vapour itself that, rather than being trampled on, or hurled at people, is transformed into a imitation of homo sapiens, complete with matching scarf and hat.
But IT companies can benefit too. Investment in technologies that facilitate remote working, increased collaboration and business continuity have become more prevalent in the past few years. The more extreme weather we’ve experienced over the last three winters has helped highlight these technologies.
How can those working in the channel make the most of the UK’s apparent recent change in climate? Converged solutions, encompassing, say, voice and data and the necessary service security wraps for remote working, should sell well.
Offering products such things as remote working or disaster recovery packages is also a good way to get a message across, and provide the flexibility and convenience both end users and resellers are looking for.
The recent relative affordability of lower-end videoconferencing services is also something to keep a close eye on.
Most of all, I think we should be use snow to tell a story. Selling on business benefits rather than technological benefits is always preferable; snowfalls can be a great vehicle to illustrate how these technologies can have a positive impact on an organisation at all levels.
When it is topical, its effects on people and business are tangible and easy to discuss in a way that packet loss is not.
We are sure to experience more snow this winter. For many of us its quixotic quality wears pretty thin pretty quickly, but IT companies should be singing 'let it snow!' Its capacity to help us sell certain technologies might just pay for next year’s Christmas presents.
Max Stoner is account manager at Fluidata
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