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COLUMN: These Changes Create An Opportunity We’ve Not Seen Before

The Channel Company's Executive Chairman Robert Faletra believes that the challenge of the coronavirus lends an business opportunity for solution providers.

For those of us who have been around for a while, we thought we had seen everything. That was before the coronavirus washed ashore and sent our health and economic future into a tailspin.

Hopefully everyone near and dear to each of us is and will remain healthy as we push forward. The challenge something like this confronts us with, however, also lends us opportunity from a business perspective.

It’s hard to imagine that when we get past the danger of the coronavirus we don’t begin to re-engineer the entire supply chain throughout the world. This is also reshaping how we work and will likely even change social customs.

Is the handshake, which began in the fifth century, something that needs to change?

I don’t know about that, but there are a lot of people who have been introduced to technology that has kept them productive and changed the way they work—and they may not want to go back to the old ways.

More importantly, every business now realizes it must have the capability to keep the workforce in place should this happen again. So, fundamentally, the network of every business is going to need to be reassessed and outfitted for better remote access and capability.

Is there any doubt that videoconferencing is now a necessity and no longer a nice-to-have? It’s not only important for large businesses, it’s essential for small businesses as well. There are many platforms to accomplish videoconferencing but to make it work well, networks need to be finely tuned.

That is likely to mean a boost in sales of servers and other networking hardware in the coming months, along with remote access software, virtual private networking, network security, and the list goes on.

Given how rapidly the push to work from home arose, is there any doubt that anyone who requires a computer at work needs the mobility of a laptop or Chromebook to be able to easily move to a remote location?

In addition, video allows businesses to conduct a more engaging sales call instead of a less personal phone conversation when a face-to-face meeting can’t happen.

But the bigger trend here is that every business and occupation will be in reassessment mode. Elementary school teachers must be able to conduct classes remotely moving forward. Universities can no longer dabble in distance learning—they must be able to do it effectively. This is not only a technology sales opportunity but also a training opportunity for strategic service providers.

To capitalize on this, strategic service providers are going to need the sales skills and understanding of the customer to be able to envision how technology can remake the way its business runs. They also need to be able to deploy the right combination of technology to put the business in a position to weather these types of storms moving forward.

There is going to be a large opportunity when we come out of this and the economy picks up in the third and fourth quarters of the year. It is going to be driven in part by the fact that the virus may be in decline in the warmer months but it’s not completely going away. It may well raise its head again come late fall and winter, according to the medical community.

Businesses that ignore that possibility and do not plan and prepare technologically will be at great risk. If that isn’t a motivator for the customer, I don’t know what is. It’s an opportunity we have not seen since the early days of the internet when every business had to get online and we saw a huge business uptick.

Don’t miss this opportunity to boost your customers’ business and along with it yours as well.

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