There’s opportunity for partners that adopt CPaaS, omnicloud and other services into their portfolio this year, according to TBI‘s Anish Patel.
TBI’s Anish Patel
Patel joined the master agent last fall to head up its emerging technologies unit. The “Tech Gurus” group features subject-matter experts in technologies like cloud communications and security. Patel said TBI is helping partners increase their business “beyond a network sale.”
“This role was created for a very specific reason, and that is to help our partners really change the game in 2020 and beyond by helping them pivot into selling more emerging technologies like SD-WAN, like cloud, like security, big data, AI and IoT,” Patel told Channel Partners. “Newer solutions to the channel that drive business forward.”
Patel said partners vary when it comes to the amount of next-gen technologies they sell; many are focusing heavily on adding emerging technologies in the upcoming year.
“We have a mix of partners that are at different levels of maturity when it comes to selling emerging technologies. My team has been super proactive in reaching out to partners to start discussing how they can elevate their game regardless of where they are,” he said.
Patel spent more than 20 years on the vendor side, working for GTT Communications, CenturyLink and Verizon. He said he’s excited to work with partners in a vendor-agnostic, consultative fashion and troubleshoot solutions in TBI’s Technology Evaluation Center Lab.
“In the past, I was more on the vendor-supplier side, and I was sort of boxed into the types of products and services that were available to me. That was my canvas. Now my canvas is 140-plus vendors at TBI, and we’re always adding new companies.”
Patel laid out four big technological areas where partners can step up their game in 2020. We’ve listed them in the gallery below.
“What’s really important is not just understanding the technology, but truly take a vendor-agnostic approach to articulate a strategy on how and why it aligns to the needs of the customer’s business.”
Cyberattacks are by no means a new phenomenon, but they've evolved drastically. More and more bad guys are using AI to become more sophisticated. And although companies are wising up to email phishing threats
and implementing better employee training, mobile devices are growing rapidly as a phishing target. A company's bring-your-own-device (BYOD) mobile policy could create a diverse range of opportunities for cybercriminals.
Patel said enterprises need to enact a mobile data management (MDM) strategy.
"Have you thought about mobile devices that are touching your enterprise systems? How are you securing those devices? Because that's another attack vector that folks could intersect and manipulate," he said.
Patel said edge computing will take off in 2020, with the internet of things (IoT) functioning as a big use case. More connected devices means more data, and enterprises need to do process that data. Consider how much data an autonomous car will produce in one day; where will those terabytes of data go?
“With the proliferation of IoT devices, you can't afford to send all that data to a centralized cloud computing data center for central processing," Patel said. "Edge computing cases are popping up in a lot of verticals not just automotive but manufacturing, retail, health care.”
Patel said that while some customers may only use one or two public cloud providers, the midmarket and enterprise often uses Google, Azure and AWS at the same time. And the cloud providers, in recognition of the trend, are introducing tools that support intercloud activity
"You want to give the developers flexibility to use the right tools for the right job, and you don't want to lock yourself into any one particular cloud," he said. "It's all about business agility."
Everyone knows UCaaS is scorching hot; TBI
and other master agents have echoed the same observation
. But Patel and others point to communication platform as a service (CPaaS) as another big opportunity. CPaaS uses APIs to integrate new communications features and applications into a business' existing platforms.
"There are a lot of players out there like Intelepeer, Vonage and 8x8, all within TBI's portfolio, that provide a platform for developers to build and integrate communication features into a business application," he said.