RENTIA BOOYSEN , BUSINESS UNIT MANAGER , WESTCON-COMSTOR
As software-driven solutions take priority with companies embracing the cloud to introduce more agility into their business environments , Rentia Booysen , Business Unit Manager at South Africabased value-added distributor Westcon-Comstor , tells us here the role a distributor is expected to play in lifecycle management .
Prior to the pandemic , technology lifecycle management generally referred to upgrading or replacing hardware . While an oversimplification , much of this came down to replacing a box with a better box . But the past two years have seen software-driven solutions take priority as companies embrace the cloud to introduce more agility into their business environments . Of course , the cloud and ‘ As-a-Service ’ are not new concepts . However , traditionally minded decision-makers throughout the channel resisted an enmasse transition to this unique environment , especially regarding distribution and goto-market strategies . Fortunately , the new normal of distributed work has been the catalyst the channel needed to push through legacy resistance finally and move towards a digitalfirst ecosystem .
This supply chain repositioning proves beneficial to all stakeholders , from vendors and distributors to resellers and the end customers . For the vendor , it is about creating value in the customer experience . And customers are expecting service providers to deliver a more enabling environment where digital distribution takes priority . There is now less waiting for stock to arrive and boxes to be shipped out and more focus on software downloads , seamless cloud updates , and the like .
Invariably , recent times have resulted in distributors changing how they do business . Today , more attention is placed on data and analytics to better understand channel needs . These fresh insights also provide distributors with the means to reinvent the refresh rate and deliver solutions faster than ever .
The new normal of distributed work has been the catalyst the channel needed to push through legacy resistance finally and move towards a digital-first ecosystem .
Lifecycle management now entails a unique way of designing solutions , quoting and billing for it , and enhancing the channel ’ s system capabilities to deliver everything digitally . This has seen the introduction of more flexible systems that enhance partner education on solutions , provide them with self-service to manage their orders , deliver automated quotes , and provide additional collateral that informs and guides customers .
Distributors have had to turn the focus inward and invest in upskilling and reskilling staff to capitalise on more innovative digital tools . Thanks to digital platforms and reduced in-person