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SMBs Need Channel Partners to Help with Long-Term Remote Working

Research shows UK SMBs need help from partners with their technology investments.

Christine Horton

April 13, 2021

2 Min Read
Businesswoman with help sign
Shutterstock

Small businesses in the UK expect to increase their IT spend in 2021. However, 37% need a channel partner to help with the right tech for long-term remote working.

That’s according to research by channel firms GiacomDigital Wholesale Solutions (DWS) and Union Street. It notes that this demand presents an opportunity for channel partners to become trusted advisers to customers.

Remote Working Priorities for SMBs

Nearly 70% of SMB leaders feel “overwhelmingly positive” about the prospects for their businesses moving forward. Additionally, two in three (67%) are confident in their company’s growth prospects through 2021.

However, SMBs outlined four immediate priorities.

  • Making collaboration work for the long term. Most small businesses have now deployed either Zoom, for more consumer use, or Teams, for business use. They need help to understand what will work for the long term.

  • Fixing home broadband. More than 40% of businesses are reporting problems with staff working at home, caused by poor networks. More than three in five (60%) say they are ready to invest to give their teams business-grade, secure connectivity at home.

  • Deploying a cloud or hosted telephone system. Many small businesses have run their businesses in lockdown by diverting their landline to their mobile. Partners can fix this for the long term, helping to manage inbound calls through an all-in-one communication solution.

  • Joining together collaboration and communications. SMBs want to connect their systems so as not to silo customers and staff. Offering voice solutions allows partners to tap into the multibillion-pound UK telephony market, says the study.

The Convergence Opportunity

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Giacom’s Steve Law

The research also points out that 94% of business leaders recognise adaptations are required to support working from home.

Steve Law, CTO at Giacom, said channel partners should embrace this need for flexible working solutions. He said they can offer products to address the needs of the home worker. These include “VoIP to collaboration apps, not to mention the underlying connectivity that supports it all.”

“Although many MSPs are already making the most of the convergence opportunity, those not yet selling both IT and comms solutions are missing out. By offering a portfolio of digital products and services that work together, the channel can capitalise on the remote working environment.”

About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications.

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