One of today’s biggest business disrupters is causing organizations to rethink the traditional IT network. Digitization. Organizations are working rapidly to harness the power of new digital technologies to create better user experiences and offer additional services to customers, consumers and citizens. But as user demand increases, so does the demand on the network. So how can IT value added resellers (VARs) help customers get digital ready?
Cisco now delivers an open, flexible, software-driven architecture that enables businesses to innovate faster, reduce costs and lower risks. We recently sat down with Reid Scrimgeour, Product Manager for Enterprise Networking and Mobility at Comstor, to discuss the benefits of this architecture and to dig into what VARs need to know about it. Here is what he had to say:
EDGE360: What problem do digital ready networks solve?
Reid Scrimgeour: For the most part, it makes sure your network is up and running and doesn’t fail; which is the main thing every end user or company doesn’t want to happen.
By evaluating your network to see if it is digital ready, you are able to see what’s gone to end-of-life, and may no longer be supported. This is very important, because at end-of-life when products are no longer supported they will no longer be updated and become vulnerable to the new security threats that may emerge. If you didn’t buy support on a certain switch, then you’re going to be out of luck if it goes down.
EDGE360: Tell us how Comstor is supporting Cisco’s new Digital Network Architecture?
Reid Scrimgeour: Earlier this year, Cisco unveiled its DNA (Digital Network Architecture), which was designed to help customers keep up with the digitization of technologies. The network architecture allows customers to gain insights, innovate and reduce costs and complexities with automation capabilities, all with security built-in from the start.
Here at Comstor, we are supporting this move to digital networks and have created our own tool called Opportunity Finder™ for our partners. This tool actually gives VARs a breakdown of opportunities inside the end-user network by doing a deep dive into the network. After its analysis, Opportunity Finder™ offers replacement ideas for what the customer should be buying. For VARs working with Comstor, they have access to this unique tool, which will better prepare them for moving their customers over to a digital network architecture.
EDGE360: What advice would you give to VARs who are helping their customer embrace digital networks?
Reid Scrimgeour: The primary advice I have is to ensure the end user and budget holder rely on you to make sure their network is up and running securely, with no faults. They should trust that you have the necessary access to the technologies needed to do this. It requires you to have ongoing conversations with the end user, analyze their needs and find new opportunities.
Secondly, consider the opportunity to refresh and migrate. If you dig into the network, you will find opportunities to help your end user be more secure by simply upgrading what is already there. In most cases, VARs believe they have all of their important customer’s business, which just isn’t true. In fact, the end user often turns to other vendors to deliver on other parts of the business. But, if the VARs just started the conversation and used the opportunity to navigate other possible upgrades or refreshes, it would result in a win-win for both the VAR and the end user.
Finally, I’d recommend VARs take advantage of all Cisco’s new software licenses. For example, Cisco One and Smart Accounts are new ways of managing software licenses and VARs should embrace them.
So, it’s just getting that conversation going, allowing Comstor to go in with Opportunity Finder™ and equipping the end user to find everything that’s on the network. For example, with Opportunity Finder™, we can go into their network, see what they have in terms of Cisco gear, and see what’s missing or lacking. We are also able to see our Intel by hints. Because if it’s not Cisco gear, it’s obviously going to be another technology, so you need to take a look at that and determine ways for your end customers to migrate to Cisco products.