Evolving the channel for customers

The channel needs to transform, says Sophos.

Michael Gutsch, Sophos

The channel needs to transform because customer requirements are changing, says Michael Gutsch, channel account executive for managed service providers at Sophos for the CEEMEA region.

Speaking to the Margin during his visit to South Africa, he says the future will see channel partners evolving into administrator providers. “Customers, especially SMEs, are starting to ask for services as opposed to products within the IT security environment. The reason for this is because of the fast paced and complex environment within this sector.”

Ransomware and phishing will continue playing havoc with IT systems in Africa, he says. Education is important and creating employee awareness ensures the backdoor is not left open which can be exploited by hackers. With cyber attacks continually evolving, IT security is critical, because jeopardising IT is detrimental for any company.

The advantage for the channel, according to Gutsch, is that businesses will look at outsourcing their IT.

Above all, he adds, are the ramifications should the company lose a customer’s data. With GDPR in the European Union coming into effect in May this year (and PoPI being promulgated in South Africa) businesses have to encrypt their data to protect themselves.

“Staying on top of technology is not always easy for SMEs, and for the channel to cater for this sector of the business it needs to transform. I believe the traditional reseller will see even more pressure being exerted on its margins as customers move away from purchasing IT security products, opting instead for IT security services."

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