CompTIA held their EMEA Member and Partner Conference in London this week, bringing more than 600 vendors, managed service providers (MSPs) and distributors to London to discover latest technology trends and insights.
The show is focussed around channel partners, distributors and MSPs, so provides useful insight into the cyber security companies on the ground, dealing with selling and supporting IT solutions to businesses.
Here’s our key takeaways from the two-day event:
The Way Customers Buy Technology Is Changing
An insightful panel (Exploring the Technology Buyers Journey) presented by Tracy Pound (Managing Director at MaximITv), Angus Robertson (Chief Marketing Officer at Axcient) and Ryan Walsh (EVP Partner Solutions at Pax8), covered the changes in how customers are buying technology, and the changes in customers’ relationships with technology.
The key takeaway was that MSPs are seeing a trend towards the cloud, and Software as a Service Solutions. Cloud applications like Hotjar, Salesforce, and Office 365 bring huge productivity and workflow features, especially for smaller teams, bringing enterprise grade features to a wide market.
This is changing the sales process, in terms of onboarding, monthly payments, and keeping customers long term, when it’s easier than ever to change providers.
Walsh concluded that for MSPs, this also means there’s an opportunity to become the technology provider in a range of different areas, to help small businesses manage their different software stacks, or to help organizations to find the right provider, and take on a guidance role.
Customers Are Researching Products Themselves
Another change to the way businesses are buying technology was that customers are changing the way they research solutions, according to Pound, Robertson and Walsh. There’s been a recent growth in customers taking more time to research technologies themselves, before going to their MSP for advice.
This has been driven by greater resource online to speak to peers and read verified user reviews of solutions, on forums such as Reddit and review platforms like ours here at Expert Insights.
The takeaway for MSPs to find new customers is to make sure
that their solutions are ranking for customers researching new technologies.
This means making sure their products are listed on review platforms, and
making sure that they have a strong SEO strategy, so that their products are
picked up on Google for popular keywords.
Training Your End Clients Is Hugely Important
The final key takeaway from this panel was that training end
users is very important. One of the themes the panellists Walsh explored was
how through the sales channel, training is provided from the vendor to
distributors, who then train the MSPs.
But a crucial element that is often missed, is training the
end clients themselves. As we move to an SaaS future, customers want to take
greater control of the IT solutions that they’re using, to take advantage of
Because of this, MSPs need to help customers get to know
their solutions, which can also help to save MSPs time on support, and help
reduce churn, as customers are unlikely to drop a solution they’ve learned how
to use effectively.
Another related point here is when helping customers to
learn what solutions can offer, it’s important to talk in terms of benefits,
rather than features, Pound explains. Many customers don’t want to hear about
what percentage of threats your solutions can block, but are instead more
interested in how it can actually solve their problems.
Customers Don’t Care About Infrastructure
One of the interesting takeaways from the ‘What We Learned This Year’ panel was Dan Scott’s assertion that customers don’t care about the infrastructure of technologies, but simply about data and access.
For MSPs, this means that they need
to ensure that they are providing customers with technologies that allow them
to take ownership of their data and allow them to easily access features and
There are Opportunities for MSPs in Emerging AI Technologies
An interesting theme across the different panels and keynotes explored the opportunities for MSPs in working with organizations on emerging technologies, like AR, VR and artificial intelligence.
While many in
the IT technology market may already be frustrated with these oversaturated
Arruda, CEO and co-founder of Smartia explained that as AI is increasingly
being used in areas such as manufacturing, there is an increasing opportunity
for MSPs and AI companies to work together.
takes the form of working with companies to help improve their IT
infrastructure as new technologies come to the fore, and help to train users
and develop new sales channels.
This theme was repeated in a keynote presented by Steven Capper (CIO of the Royal Bam Group) who explored how MSPs are working within the construction industry on emerging technologies.
discussed the exciting new technologies being used in the construction industry,
like AI, drones and AR and VR, which are helping to improve productivity and
give Bam a competitive edge.
MSPs and the channel will be crucial to help their clients manage, maintain and secure these innovative technologies that are going to revolutionise industries such as construction.
Find out more highlights from the CompTIA Event: https://www.comptia.org/blog/emea-2019-highlights
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