The COVID-19 crisis has emphasised the need for hardware resellers to consider moving into managed services post-pandemic, according to Zyxel's UK and southern Europe boss Rachel Rothwell.
Speaking to CRN, Rothwell noted that the surge in remote working has proven that most resellers should at the very least consider adding remote access management to their portfolio once the crisis settles.
"A lot of them are just trying to keep their heads above water and this is not a time for them to make a change or for them to even have the capacity to make a change," she stated.
"But when they're looking to the future, when they're ready and things have calmed down - whenever that might be - I think they're going to have to put some more facilities in place to enable remote management access.
"I think a change was coming anyway and what this should bring to light to those resellers who aren't going on that [managed services] journey today is that it now has to happen faster.
"A lot of people are going to be looking at how they remotely manage if this happens again? How can they get access to their network? How can their staff get access to their network? How can they stay on business within the five working days a week without any downtime? I think that's going to be what really drives the demand going forward."
Zyxel is primarily known as a networking vendor but Rothwell said its security offerings have been the most in-demand products during the pandemic as larger infrastructures do not require upgrades or refreshes as offices remain empty.
"We've seen a huge demand for our security devices, not just in the UK but across EMEA; people needing to connect by VPN, which is where we put most of our focus, being reactive to the situation," she said.
"Multiple people working from multiple different locations needing multiple secure connections, so we've put a lot of our focus around supporting the security side of it."
Despite the dip in demand for its networking services, Rothwell sad there will always be a demand there and that it provides an opportunity for hardware resellers considering the move into the managed services space.
"People are always going to need to stay connected, so there's always going to be a need for networking," she noted.
"I think - and this is potentially where the whole MSP piece comes into it - companies are going to have contingency plans in place. People will return to work and maybe they will become more comfortable with their staff working from home.
"But I think you need to be able to manage and remotely access people's networks to support them in whatever configuration they work in, in the future. It's going to be difficult, maybe firms won't be comfortable with onsite visits for a few months or maybe a year until we have an antidote to the situation.
"But people will still need to get access and still need to work and we still need our economy to get rebooted after this. There's definitely going to be a demand [for networking services], it's just that I think it will be more on the remote managed side of it."
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