John McGarvie, channel sales director at Progress, on the challenges, and opportunities, facing MSPs post-Covid
As part of CRN's MSP Transform event taking place on 23 June, we catch up with Progess' UK and Ireland channel boss about how MSPs can capture the UK's post-Covid recovery.
What is the biggest challenge that your partners will face this year, and how have you helped them combat these?
The whole area of compliance and legislative enforcement which has perhaps been previously viewed as restrictive for our partners is actually now offering opportunities for growth and for us here at Progress to add even greater value as a vendor. A good and current example of this would be our investment and launch of our UK hosted Cloud instance for MOVEit meaning our partners can provide their customers with a UK hosted Cloud for Secure Managed File Transfer solutions.
What do you see as the biggest opportunity for your partners over the next 12-18 months?
Clearly, markets are expected to return to pre-COVID levels over the coming months but that doesn't mean that the world will be return to how it was and all we have to do is sit back and wait for the recovery to reach us. Because the world will be different the opportunity too will be different and the organisations able to adapt to what will be a new hybrid working environment and address the specific needs of that market will have positioned themselves for the greatest chance of success.
Security, governance, access to data and movement of data in a UK hosted cloud environment will remain a hot topic and therefore a big opportunity for our partners in the coming 18 months.
What impact will customers returning to offices and adopting hybrid working models have on your business?
Hybrid working represents an enormous opportunity for Progress some of which we're already witnessing. The new model raises fundamental questions around security, governance, access to data and infrastructure management all of which our technology helps to address. Given this is likely to be the new norm forever we're hugely excited about the potential it offers.
What one technology trend will shape the IT channel the most over the next 12-18 months?
It has to be the increasing trend towards subscription models and consumption-based pricing - but not just for software for everything! The question I think we all have to ask our businesses is how ready are we for this change because it's not just coming…..it's here.
Certainly a localised hosted cloud platform in the UK is something the public sector has been moving towards, in fact in some instances mandating, and we're seeing this requirement also increasingly now in the public sector, in particular FS, which is a strong sector for our channel.
What is your advice to partners to grow their business with you this year?
Acknowledging collaboration is often an over-used word in channel, our existing partners will know Progress is 100 per cent committed to our 2-tier model and are comfortable and confident in highlighting opportunities with us very early in the customer's buying cycle. We have a team of hugely talented and immensely passionate professionals here at Progress who work with our partners to make their business as successful as it's capable of being. Be that building new service capabilities or creating go-to-market initiatives our people are there to ensure our partners are successful.
We're actively expanding and recruiting new partners all the time so my advice to existing and new partners alike is to keep registering opportunities with us early so we can add value and to embrace and then benefit from some of the long-term channel incentives we're running such as "Take the High Road" which is unique and proving hugely successful.
John McGarvie is channel sales director for the UK and Ireland at Progress