From installing social distancing apps and non-touch print technology, to rightsizing licensing, resellers and MSPs are busy helping their clients as they attempt a safe office return. Bosses from Insight, XMA, Jigsaw24, Phoenix Software, SBL, DTP, Total Computers, European Electronique, ASL, Bamboo and Arkphire weigh with their top tips.
Name: Andy Wright
Role: Commercial director
VAR 350 ranking: 10
Talking to your clients, roughly what percentage are currently returning - or looking to return - staff to the office/site?
It feels like less than 25 per cent are returning at any pace at the moment, and clearly all are being very careful to work with staff in terms of safety in the office environment and on the any worries, anxiety etc that a return to an office environment might cause. We are seeing a lot of customers accepting that the world will not return to full-building occupancy for a long time and hence are working on more flexible hours and rotators to allow staff to adapt.
What is the biggest challenge or opportunity for the channel in helping with transition?
We are continuing all our work around transformation of the digital workspace and seeing the demand accelerate. A big issue for a lot of customers is that they have built their IT based on a model where a high percentage of the workforce are in an office. That has changed, and they are finding gaps in all sorts of areas including processes and support, to security and beyond to the lack of flexibility their infrastructure has given them. All opportunities for the channel to support them.
What products and services do you expect to be in the hottest demand over the coming months as clients look to reconfigure their offices for social distancing, and are there any new technologies you expect to take off?
I am actually expecting demand to be driven behind the scenes in terms of infrastructure demand, rather than in the front of house. There are some specific and interesting areas for the office, but it's the Infrastructure where we are seeing the demand start to pick up.
Given the rise of remote working and socially distanced offices, how do you expect the role of resellers or MSPs change over the coming months?
I think the value of enablement of users, or training will sky rocket. Getting better value out of the tools and hence greater productivity is going to be key. It always has been, but we are all guilty of not learning to use what we have in front of us. Big part for us all to play in this as budgets start to tighten.
See next page for DTP's Howard Hall's answers