Channel Partners

SPR 2015

For 25 years, Channel Partners has been a resource for indirect sales channels, such as agents, VARs and dealers, that provide network-based communications and computing services, associated CPE and applications, and managed and professional services

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Recognizing the impact these mobile technolo- gies are having on people's lives, enterprises are refocusing their IT strategies to address "mobile first" in an attempt to stay on the leading edge of this transition. The key question for the channel is how to reshape business plans to capitalize on these trends. Fortunately there are a number of potential areas channel partners can explore to put them in a position to profit from making their customers' mobile initiatives a success. When it comes to mobile initiates, there are two major areas to pursue: business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-employee (B2E). Virtually every organization of any size has published a mobile app for Android and iOS devices that allows customers to discover, research, configure, buy and support its products. In essence "digital channels" has been one of the key develop- ments in marketing, and according to the Global IT Study conducted by IDG for IBM, this has allowed mobile-first organizations to outperform their competitors. While the ability to help companies develop or enhance those mobile applications offers a potential for channel partners to generate professional services revenue, probably the bigger opportunity lies in helping organizations to mobilize their workforces and their business processes. We have seen how companies like FedEx and UPS have reduced costs, increased efficiency and essentially revolutionized their industry based on equipping their entire fleets with mobile technologies. However, most organizations have not advanced beyond providing mobile email to employees, so B2E represents a largely untapped potential. There are a number of opportunities that exist for channel partners to help their customers develop and implement a mobile-first strategy. The key will be for channel executives to choose those opportunities that are the best fit for their organizations' capabilities and to develop the expertise they will need to expand into the most promising areas. The first step in supporting the move to mobile is ensuring that the wireless infrastructure is sound so that mobile users can work effectively and without interruption. No one is working produc- tively on a wireless network that is slow or unreli- able. The challenge is that radio transmission is simply not as predictable as wires and cables as signals are sent through free space and subject to reflection, refraction, interference and signal loss due to obstacles in the environment. Those challenges are increased if the user is moving, as the intensity of those obstacles will change moment by moment. There are two primary radio network options that could be used: cellular and Wi-Fi. Mobile applications could be designed to operate on one, the other, or both. Some solutions even allow a connection to be handed off from a Wi-Fi network to a cellular network when a user leaves a Wi-Fi equipped facility and then hands the connection back to Wi-Fi when they return. In outdoor environments, maintenance of the cellular network is the responsibility of the mobile operator, but there are opportunities for channel partners in improving cellular performance in indoor environments. In large venues like stadiums or convention centers, venue operators often install distributed antenna systems (DAS) that OPPORTUNITY FUNCTIONAL AREA BUSINESS POTENTIAL DAS Installation Cellular Infrastructure Wi-Fi Offload Infrastructure Cellular Infrastructure Enterprise Wi-Fi Business Infrastructure Mobile Security Consulting Security Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Systems Security, Management Mobile UC&C Business Productivity Business Process Improvement Business Productivity Interested in what's new and what's next in business technology products and services for your clients? Carolyn April, senior director, industry analysis, for CompTIA, conducts a deep dive into the mobile- first world in the session, "Innovations in Mobility: Discovering What's Next." MONDAY, MARCH 16, 10:45-11:30 A.M. CHANNELPARTNERSONLINE.COM 13 +

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