11 reseller bosses on the tech they are backing to help clients return to work

Doug Woodburn
clock • 24 min read

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: Nigel Allen

Company: ASL Group

Role: Marketing director

VAR 350 rank: 184

Talking to your clients, roughly what percentage are currently returning - or looking to return - staff to the office/site?

There are two ways to look at this. One is how many of our clients are preparing to return to work and the second is to what extent? Using our business levels as an indicator at the heart of lockdown our sector was running at between 20 -30 per cent of the previous normal revenue (on a click basis) and is now into the 40s. I think the end of the initial furlough period will see a bigger shift in this transition.

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?

It is dealing with the new hybrid office, and this is where manged service suppliers such as ASL can add their value. We are getting many requests to assist in the movement of print devices into a more open plan area where users can see if it is ‘safe' to use the machine and keep their distance as well as requests to install non touch technology and making more use of their smart phones to release documents and identify themselves to gain access. The last few months have also highlighted the perils of not having the right collaboration tools in place combined with the need to have the correct unified communications platforms that allow flexibility of working no matter where everyone is. It is also essential that companies understand the need to increase their use of digital documents and document management to ensure that everyone can access anything they need whilst maintaining security is not compromised.

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 believe that working closely with trusted suppliers will be essential in the short term. When the recession really grabs hold of the new normal, we may all face a situation where there will be a strong push to make decisions on an initial cost basis but by consulting with customers and identifying cost savings from efficiencies and more effective working practices will help minimise this.

See next page for Phoenix Software's Sam Mudd's answers

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