Mobility Strategies for VARs: CompTIA and Tech Data Channel Link
How can VARs develop mobile strategies — helping end-customers while also generating new revenue streams? ClikCloud CEO Dan Shapero, a CompTIA Instructor, is covering that topic now at Tech Data (NASDAQ:TECD) Channel Link in Orlando, Fla.
Shapero is a familiar name in the IT channel, having previously built much of Kaseya's MSP community. Among Shapero's key takeaways:
- With BYOD, who is going to pay the monthly service provider fees, and where do VARs and MSPs fit in?
- Understand the interdependencies of the network, business application development, security and compliance, and corporate compliance.
- What are your current capabilities: What investments do you need to make in training, hiring, vendor and suppor relationships? In terms of non-technical expertise, remember to master workflow and operations issues.
- For sales and marketing strategies: Be a consultant; there might not be standardized pricing; instead, focus on proposal-priented pricing and bundling methods; remember all those interdependencies. "Don't forget to factor in your time investment, lifecycle management, 24×7 support," said Shapero.
- Evaluate and assess: Understand customers' existing evironments; discuss their business goals and priorities.
- Consider the end users: What are current end-user experiences? Who owns the device? "Tracking the device isn't enough," said Shapero. He noted that if MSPs and VARs start "wiping" end-user devices, you could be liable for losing end-user data. So you need to have the right policies and technologies in place to ensure there are approved "containers" for business and personal applications and data.
- Managed the entire lifecycle: MDM (mobile device management) is just the start. Remember to master procurement, activation, provisioning, policy settings and more.
- End-to-end security: Beyond the physical devices, make sure you secure the network connection and the data in transit.
- Apps and the attendee debate: VARs and MSPs are trying to decide whether to device natively for iOS, Android and Windows — or to use HTML 5 as a cross-platform standard. Pros and cons mentioned on both sides of the conversation. Shapero noted that there's no right-or-wrong answer. Rather, you need to determine the customer and business need, and align your platform decision to that discussion.
The big-picture opportunities, concluded Shapero, involve VARs and MSPs engaging with customers on security and compliance discussions; acceptable use; and application management conversations.