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View from the channel – Lucy Randall, Business Director, Jigsaw 24

Q: How’s business; better or worse than 12 months ago? And how confident are you about the future?

A: Business is better than ever. We entered the pandemic planning for the worst yet benefitted from our strongest year to date. We have continued to work closely with our customers, partners and vendors to invest this success back into the business to support our continued growth. Over the last year, our workforce has grown more than 20 per cent, with recruits across all areas of the business – from account management and service delivery to operations and HR. We have also just opened our new service centre in Nottingham. This expansion demonstrates our commitment to provide our customers with fast access to products and superior services at any scale.

Q: In what areas are you experiencing strongest demand?

A: We are experiencing a huge uplift in demand for our support and professional services capabilities. Due to our growing market reputation as a trusted service provider, our customers are now asking us to support their devices, infrastructure and IT estates outside of our traditional Apple expertise.

The M&E industry is also booming, with significant investment in studio development within the UK and an unprecedented demand for content. This increase in content creation and subsequent post-production work means Jigsaw24 is perfectly placed to provide solutions and services to support this upturn in delivery.

Q: How have you changed/are you changing business operations to exploit new opportunities?

A: The organisation has undergone significant business change over the last three years to deliver against a five-year transformation plan to capitalise on a gap in the market and a great opportunity that we were perfectly positioned to fill. Our focus is to drive growth in our services business, leveraging the benefits of the operational activity that has already taken place. This focus coupled with our traditional product expertise and fulfilment capability puts us in great stead to create end- user focused IT solutions, which we believe will enable our customers to deliver on their business goals.

Q: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing channel businesses today?

A: The talent pool is short of the skills sets needed. DevOps, cloud capability, ServiceNow and Apple device management, and security skills are not readily available and are very expensive.

Q: Could vendors and distributors do more to help you overcome them? And if so, what?

A: Yes, through greater investment into bridging the skills gap. Cisco did this 20 years ago. Today, working with educational establishments to develop capability in the next generation would be a great long-term fix. In the short term, there are quick fixes available. However, they are expensive. I think vendors could really help this space by viewing partner training less as a revenue stream and more as a sales enabler.

Q: If you could change one aspect of your job what would it be and why?

A: The previous restrictions caused by the pandemic changed how we engage with our network, with many larger companies still favouring virtual meetings. While previously unavoidable, we are now very much looking forward to spending time with customers and partners in-person and attending channel events. This not only allows for further relationship expansion, but also fosters more fluid idea sharing and collaboration – something not nearly as easily achieved through a screen.

Jigsaw24 building, Nottingham