From looking at a list of buzzwords published by CompTIA at the beginning of this year it’s quite easy to get a snapshot of where the channel industry was, and is, heading. There are 3 key themes that seem to emerge from the ‘buzzword watch’: security, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
We are increasingly being provided with opportunities that will allow us to immerse ourselves digitally in whatever we’re doing. To name just a few, we have 360 degree videos, virtual reality headsets, and here in the Channel we talk about telepresence. As many of you will already be aware, the science fiction behind hologram meetings is a not too distant future, and the need for them is already here. In an age where we have to be everywhere at once, the choice of carrying out a meeting over a collaboration system is truly liberating. No wonder so many buzzwords revolve around interface devices.
Being halfway through the year means we have a clearer perspective on how things are developing. There are increasing concerns regarding partner loyalty, the capabilities of the cloud, and the possibilities emerging from the Internet of Things. Whilst the jury is still out on the overall direction of the channel industry, there can be no doubt that the way forward is uncertain, but it’s much easier to see what needs to be done from the perspective of the end-user.
Do we want someone else to manage our telecoms infrastructure, or do we want to have full control over it ourselves? In other words, this is the conundrum of whether to use cloud services, or to have your own in-house systems. The Channel has a chance to change, but we have a responsibility to ensure it’s done the right way. If Channel companies are to be the cloud aggregators/brokers, to use one of the buzzwords gaining traction, then we have a duty to make sure it really is the best option for a company.
Ultimately, the customer’s needs will have to be assessed on a case by case basis. However, the danger is that choosing the easiest and simplest option, as attractive as they are, means overlooking the best solutions. We have the technology, we have the knowhow and we have the ability to act fast in all aspects of what we do. Therefore, we must start talking about what is the right thing to do rather than what is the easiest thing to do.
One size doesn’t necessarily fit all, and in most cases hosted solutions don’t offer the same level of customisability as more traditional methods. This often means a system which is not tailored to the needs of a company, which can become particularly problematic as the business needs grow. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but the options are certainly more limited, and in cases where additional functionality can be added on this usually comes at a considerable price.
The interesting thing about buzzwords is their enchanting quality. At Amtech we pride ourselves on seeing through complexity. We see things through to the end and we see things for what they are, and that’s why we’ve made it our snazzy new tagline.
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Andrea (Cooper) Gibson - Head of Business Development