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Coronavirus Threat: Big Wake-Up Call for the Channel

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… going to go back to normal with everyone who’s been allowed to work remotely “happily going back to an office,” she said. In fact, this is the “tipping point we’ve been waiting for” with remote workers as the “new normal,” she said.

“After coronavirus, you’re not going to see it go away because the tools and the things that … the partners provide and the vendors supply are so much more productive than the old ways,” Schijns said. “I think you’re going to see widespread adoption of tools that have not been adopted before. I think you’re going to see the partners change their businesses to provide those digital tools. Those that already have will be very successful now. Those that haven’t will have to catch up. And I think you’re going to see customers say, ‘No, this is our new normal, and you need to find a way to sell, service and support us in the new normal.'”

And the time for partners to act is now, she said.

“If I were a partner, I would today be calling whomever they trust is their business adviser and recrafting my business, marketing and sales plan immediately to this the new normal,” Schijns said. “And that’s what we’re seeing the partners that trust us are doing. The vendors and partners that we work with are saying we need to do a virtual market action planning day, we need to change our business plan or marketing plan, or sales plans, right now. And it’s not for the next 90 days, but for the next three years.”

You don’t have to look far to understand why businesses, educational institutions and entire municipalities are looking for remote work solutions right now, said Scott Anderson, Intermedia‘s chief marketing officer. Even though businesses and institutions of all sizes are sending people home, they must continue to operate, he said.

Intermedia's Scott Anderson

Intermedia’s Scott Anderson

“As so many managers and business leaders are grappling to support remote work environments with little or no forewarning, the tools to support that environment are required,” he said. “That’s where Intermedia helps. We provide the tools for distributed organizations to operate effectively regardless of location, device or time of day. Whether individuals want to email, call, video conference, chat  or share files — we make it easy for them to do so.”

Cloud-based unified communications (UC) companies offer the tools for continued collaboration and communications with this distributed work environment, Anderson said. Businesses aren’t stopping while they change their operational models on the fly. The right cloud communications technology allows for continued operations regardless of employee location.

“Intermedia’s customers and partners are already using cloud-based UC tools, so the shift they are making may not be as extreme as businesses doing it for the first time,” he said. “Nobody wants to slow or stop business — there are still customers to serve, and employees must still collaborate regardless of location. Face-to-face meetings can still take place, even if you aren’t in the same room, thanks to cloud communications.”

Lifesize, the video conferencing provider, said organizations impacted by coronavirus globally are immediately eligible for an unlimited number of free licenses to use the company’s cloud-based video collaboration platform for six months, allowing them to implement remote work policies during the global health crisis. The offer allows both …

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