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View from the channel:

Q: How’s business; better or worse than 12 months ago? And how confident are you about the future?
A: Business has been strong in the IT sector over the last 12 months, with companies requiring technology to facilitate homeworking and e-commerce. As we emerge out of lockdown and the economy bounces back, businesses which put projects on hold during the pandemic, will be looking to restart these and invest in IT again, making it a vital tool for enabling business efficiency and renewed growth.

Q: In what areas are you experiencing strongest demand?
A: Companies that were unhappy with their current IT service provider will be exploring the market once lockdown is over. During this period, it was deemed too risky to change suppliers due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, but now that we have a roadmap out of lockdown, we’re expecting to see much more interest and investment, as organisations reassess their IT needs.

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Q: How have you changed/are you changing business operations to exploit new opportunities?
A: As an MSP, TDM Group is already well-positioned to service companies on-premise or in the cloud. The impact of the pandemic and the shift to mass remote working has meant we have seen a huge uptick in organisations wanting to deploy cloud services. This is a trend we expect to see continuing as more organisations look to deploy a hybrid working approach post-COVID.

Q: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing channel businesses today?
A: Having the right products that cater for client needs in this new world is a challenge for MSPs. You don’t want a scenario where you have rolled out a SaaS product that brings little value to the customer. As an MSP, you need foresight on how the industry is moving, to enable the selection of products that bring business value. Most products are moving towards the cloud and are being offered as a SaaS. However, some have been shoehorned in as a SaaS, meaning they are not true multi-tenant systems. They don’t provide single-sign-on or MFA security features, and they don’t integrate with user provisioning tools.

Q: Could vendors and distributors do more to help you overcome them? And if so, what?
A:The industry is moving forward with certain open standards and practices that should be adopted by all vendors, so clients can use the products seamlessly. They must be aware that their products will not work in isolation but will need to be part of a business ecosystem where the users are at the centre.

Q: If you could change one aspect of your job what would it be and why?
A:I read somewhere that CEOs read 60 books a year. I don’t know if that’s accurate, but I would love to be able to create the time to consume knowledge at that rate. It’s important for me to continue developing and growing myself as CEO of TDM Group. To achieve this, I realise that I must take time to invest in myself, but the day-to-day demands of business doesn’t make this easy.

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