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Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

SMB SD-WAN adoption unlocks business potential for MSPs

SMBs are wrestling with many challenges, including unreliable network connections, cybersecurity and privacy concerns, productivity issues, and support. In addition, SMBs are mindful of the need for help composing, deploying, and managing digital business infrastructure. The recent surge in remote work has also significantly increased the requirement for effective networks and network management and the complexity of deploying a holistic digital business infrastructure.

SMB networks and network management resources are not as sophisticated as those in enterprise environments. As a result, SMBs will encounter high incidences of network issues such as delivering robust support for videoconferencing and jittering and extending security across distributed applications, devices, and networks.

Networking, a necessary foundation for digital business infrastructure, is a particularly onerous IT management category. Techaisle survey data shows that managing network hardware or network support consumes 47% of SMB IT staff time.

In response to explosive increases in demand for deployment and support of digital business platforms, resource-constrained SMBs are looking for new solutions. They are looking for MSPs as external service providers – and they are looking at SD-WAN. Techaisle data shows that SD-WAN adoption among SMBs will likely grow by 160% within one year. The adoption growth rate is second only to 5G. There is a firm belief within the SMB community that SD-WAN is a critical technology for enabling digital transformation within the SMB segment.

This data indicates a significant and growing opportunity for MSPs to help SMBs deploy digital business infrastructure and manage the associated networking challenges. So what do MSPs need to do to capture this new business?

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Mitel is well-positioned to support on-prem, private, and public cloud unified communications solutions

What do Hyatt, Hilton, and Marriott all have in common? Besides being among the world’s largest hotel chains, all use Mitel’s MiVoice Business solution. Hospitality is one of the many verticals that Mitel excels in. Manufacturing, retail, healthcare, media, and entertainment are some of the other verticals where Mitel has been showing considerable growth. Businesses require a broad spectrum of adaptive and agile communications solutions, and suppliers should be able to support a wide range of needs. Mitel is well-positioned to support the needs of firms of all sizes. For example, Halepuna Waikiki, an acclaimed Hawaiian boutique hotel, is an excellent example of how Mitel solutions can be tailored for global and local businesses alike.

Mitel is on a modernization mission

A recent global Techaisle Communications Adoption Trends research study (N=1361), conducted in the US, UK, France, Germany, and Australia, shows that 84% of firms say that modern communications solution is vital for business success. 73% agree that modern communication solutions help their business grow by contributing to improved decision making, driving innovation, and enabling better customer experience. As a result, 64% consider the modernization of their communications infrastructure a priority, and 47% of firms are using or implementing on-prem UCaaS solutions on multiple platforms.

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Red Hat Partner Program accelerating partner business velocity

Markets behave logically, and therefore channel partners exist for logical reasons. Channel partners are essential to intercepting demand, connecting technology to business outcomes, enabling efficiencies, and providing customer relevance. A sizable majority of IT industry sales are concluded through partners and are not likely to slow down soon. As we emerge from the pandemic, it is clear that the cloud has transformed the IT industry by its ability to provide agile transformation, resiliency, and adaptability. The market has shifted from discrete purchase-and-deploy deals aligned with refresh cycles to a 'hybrid IT' approach that blends a limited number of on-premise assets with a growing range of on-demand services. Application modernization, migration, cloud consulting services, and cloud managed services. Containers have become the PoC beachheads, small to enterprise firms are building the Edge. Techaisle data shows that the need for updated understandings of channel management imperatives has expanded beyond the tactical questions of sales or management metrics or marketing activities. There is a reason why I have written a long preamble before unfolding the main point of the Techaisle Take.

Red Hat is a platform company whose goal is to continue to deliver platforms and the relevant pieces around it that enable a customer to have the maximum flexibility and core capabilities for security, stability, and resiliency. In addition, these customers should be able to deploy applications faster and at scale. Therefore, its open hybrid cloud initiative has to have as broad a partner ecosystem as possible to deliver on Red Hat's promise. Red Hat is still Red Hat retaining its independence and neutrality, but its partner program is changing to tackle the ecosystem challenges. Red Hat has been listening to its partners. Red Hat's Stefanie Chiras, Sr. Vice-President, Partner Ecosystem Success is focusing on partner success. She and her team recognize that partners contribute to creating, shaping, defining demand – in some cases by making customers aware of a new category or product, in others by helping to define solution requirements or specifications. In the hybrid world, the solution deployment is based not on a specified hardware/software configuration but the orchestration of multiple on-demand services integrated with existing legacy systems - a liberating factor for the partner ecosystem in a meaningful sense.

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Lenovo Partner Hub – a one-stop-shop for services offerings – neatly fulfilling Lenovo 360 promise

Techaisle's channel partner research shows a top tier of four must-have vendor attributes to pursue new partner relationships and build on existing ones. These are 1/ease of doing business, 2/ technical support, 3/ competitive pricing, and 4/ well-designed partner programs/partner portals. Each of these elements is considered necessary by 40% or more of channel decision-makers.

Lenovo is addressing each of the attributes. For example, at the center of its partner program transformation under One Lenovo and Lenovo 360 (partner program framework) is its Lenovo Partner Hub, undergoing continuous enhancements since its introduction in 2020. Its most recent improvements integrate managed services to product sales. Partners love the enhanced partner portal because of its simplicity of layout, ability to serve contextual information quickly, easy navigation, and enabling partners to add services components in customer bids effortlessly. It is a one-stop-shop for everything services – training, marketing, and deliverables.

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