German MSPs are still facing huge procurement challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, with many vendors not responding fast enough to customer demand.
The co-CEOs of Munich-headquartered MSP Vistafon, Sebastian Knaack and Fritjof Lemân have said that one of the biggest changes to business wrought by the coronavirus pandemic is the "huge change" in customer expectations on service procurement timelines.
Vistafon is a vendor-agnostic MSP, which focuses on consulting and managed services in the video conferencing and collaboration market.
They told CPI that vendors need to be faster to respond to the pace of business in this new COVID-19 environment.
"Procurement processes for us are really important at the moment," Knaack said.
"They are key, and it's because there's so much pressure during COVID-19. The impact has been that customers don't want to wait for one week or 10 days or so for the rollout, they really need it ideally in a few hours.
"The number one thing right now for every vendor is speed and quick help with the sales cycles. Even for bigger projects those cycles have dropped tremendously to within a couple of days, when they normally take months."
He added: "Getting these faster onboarding processes right is one of the things we need the most now."
Lemân added that this trend is something that Vistafon's peers are also experiencing.
"We can say in general that the interest in video conferencing and collaboration services has spiked. And what's really interesting is that the speed of the utilisation of the workplace on the whole has speeded up massively.
"Right now, we see the biggest increase [in business] when it comes to the software clients."
He added that the MSP has seen a particularly stark difference in the education vertical, which previously has been "really slow moving" in terms of the adoption of new technologies.
"Now because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they digitalised in a few areas within a few days."
Looking ahead, Knaack sees the changes to the DACH MSP market as being long-term, that even once lockdowns measures are eased, the way customers procure new technologies from MSPs will be different.
"The digitalisation of workplaces will happen much quicker and every company will see the need for that now.
"If something like COVID-19 happens again companies know now that they have to be prepared. So I think there will be massive investments in the future in the MSP sector."
Lemân added that he thinks this will especially be true in the German market where a federalised business culture means that customers look for local connections to their partners and vendors.
"In Germany, I think the channel is really, really important as a trusted advisor. For example, in the US where sales often go via telephone, here I think that is not normal.
"In the German market, due to this, we have a really strong position, and this is what will make a difference, probably more so I think than in other markets facing COVID-19."
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