Tom Baker, partner sales manager at Dropbox UK, gives his take on the challenges - and opportunities, facing MSPs as they begin their Covid recovery
As part of CRN's MSP Transform event taking place on 23 June, we catch up with Dropbox 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?
Following the pandemic, and shift towards remote working, our partners have been working hard to respond to the needs of their customers. Traditional organisations are starting to rethink their approach to IT, and what we have seen is a greater demand for services that help businesses:
- Migrate data to the cloud
- Implement multi-service technology
- Deliver best of breed applications
As businesses move over to these services - and reduce reliance on a physical IT infrastructure - in house IT teams are shrinking which presents a huge opportunity for MSPs.
So, we're working with our partners to help them utilise this opportunity by providing them with a secure platform that helps reduce fragmented data stores and provides the flexibility that users demand.
What do you see as the biggest opportunity for your partners over the next 12-18 months?
As technology providers find new ways to work together and integrate their technology, it is becoming far easier for partners to adopt, deploy and manage. This not only reduces overheads - by mitigating the complexity once associated with multi-product deployments - it delivers a better quality of service to end customers by allowing partners to focus on services that add the most value.
For partners this presents a huge opportunity to move away from specialist offerings, to providing a full stack of best in breed products and services that meets all customer needs and expectations.
What impact will customers returning to offices and adopting hybrid working models have on your business?
Dropbox is now a virtual first company because our technology allows teams to work and collaborate from anywhere.
So, whether returning to the office, adopting a hybrid approach, or going virtual first, Dropbox has a role to play in helping businesses create a culture that encourages flexibility and collaboration, and enabled people to work from where they get their best work done, at the time they get their best work done!
As for our partners, our resources, toolkits, guides and videos are all available in the cloud, through partner licenses to Dropbox and HelloSign. So, whether we're emailing, Slacking, communicating on Dropbox Paper, or meeting in person, we'll be available to help and support you whenever you need it.
What one technology trend will shape the IT channel the most over the next 12-18 months?
Business leaders want to adopt the best technology on the market. They want this technology to enable their teams to collaborate - from any location and device - and they want all of these solutions to work seamlessly together.
As a result we're seeing a rise in ‘best of breed tech stacks' which include collaboration tools like Dropbox with Data governance, eSignature technology such as HelloSign, instant chat services like Slack, and virtual whiteboarding tools like Miro for innovation.
The ability to deliver these best of breed tool stacks - which will differ significantly from one organisations requirements and workflows to the next - will shape the success of MSPs over the next 12 - 18 months.
What is your advice to partners to grow their business with you this year?
We see our partners as our growth engine. Ultimately we want to build the best partner program and demonstrate more value through a multi product offering for partners.
Although we provide out-of-the-box resources to help our partners grow Dropbox usage, including an onboarding programme and partner resources library, we pride ourselves on offering a more bespoke service - as and when needed - to ensure you feel confident selling our solutions and your customers get the best from Dropbox.
We are also launching a Services program help build new revenue opportunities this includes things like supporting data migration programmes or conducting customer health checks. And we'll work with you to identify opportunities for optimisation and where security or feature enhancement add-ons will benefit your customers.
We're proud our channel partners experience high renewal rates with their customers. So, whether you're an existing partner, or thinking about joining the programme we will help you grow Dropbox usage amongst your customers by working with you to assess their individual needs and requirements.
Tom Baker is partner sales manager at Dropbox