1. What's the biggest opportunity for the channel in the next 12 months?
The biggest opportunity for many channel partners happens to be the biggest challenge.
After decades of designing, implementing and supporting on-prem hardware, software and infrastructure, channel partners have to make a shift to providing services - not products. With more technology and solutions moving to the cloud, the channel is realizing that complex design and implementation services that were once required with many scalable services, are no longer needed.
By shifting their focus toward helping to analyse, consult and assist organisations in transitioning to the cloud, channel partners can move from a traditional VAR model to a service provider model.
In the coming year, the channel has an opportunity to build a much stronger relationship with their enterprise customers as they face the following three challenges: Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), Windows 7 (W7) and Windows 10 (W10).
Microsoft is going to change the way desktops are delivered through WVD. The first year of this will be 2020, and we expect there to be much uncertainty as to how to move to WVD at first. Windows 7 End of Support occurs on 14 January 2020, and many companies are still behind on migrating from this OS.
When it comes to Windows 10, organisations are going to need to decide which release and how often they upgrade - this will create opportunities for the channel to advise their customers on best practices and strategies for implementation.
2. What will be the biggest challenge for then channel in the next 12 months?
As mentioned above, the biggest challenge for the channel will be getting up to speed on the new technologies associated with Windows 10, especially with regard to Microsoft's Spring and Autumn releases. Channel partners will need to learn how to support and update these releases.
Next, with regards to WVD - channel partners will need to determine if they can fully support it and all the changes required to move the desktop from on-prem to the cloud.
Being an SMB means that you have to do more with less. IT is evolving more quickly than ever and keeping up to date can be a challenge for SMBs.
Utilising the channel can help SMBs ensure they are getting the most for their technology investments and are not falling behind. For example, when it comes to the cloud, channel partners can provide a cost-effective, lower risk way of consuming the cloud, while offering additional levels of support typically required by the SMB.
On-prem vs. small service provider vs. major cloud vendor. SMBs must be asking themselves "who is going to be my go-to partner for 2020?"
3. What's the biggest disruptive force in the industry today?
Microsoft WVD will change the desktop for ever!!!!!
4. What does it mean for your company to win this award?
IGEL is flattered and delighted to win this award, it clearly indicates that we are right in or 100 per cent focus on the cloud - even in these times of turmoil.
IGEL has never taken a deal direct, we are firmly committed to driving success for our channel partners in enabling the cloud for their customers, and will continue on with this philosophy!
5. What has been your personal highlight for your business in the last 12 months?
Partnering with Microsoft to develop the Linux client for WVD has been an eye-opener and a fantastic experience for IGEL.
The support we've received from Microsoft has been outstanding.
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