Johannes Groenewald, GM for Demand Factory and Marketing, Tarsus Distribution
Distributors, as providers of enterprise IT technologies, solutions and services need to understand the full portfolio of their vendor to augment the value to channel and end-customers. The transformation to be able to move beyond the old channel days of ‘dropping boxes’ empower tech distributors to evolve into trusted advisors.
This is according to Johannes Groenewald, GM of Tarsus Distribution, who says his organisation works closely with channel partners to help them resolve the end customers’ needs, by meeting their existing and future technology requirements across the board.
When it comes to cyber security, prioritising the end-user needs is never more important than now, he says. “Today’s cyber threat landscape is littered with increasingly complex and sophisticated threats, as well as adversaries who are more determined than ever. It’s no surprise that end customers have no idea where to begin when it comes to securing their most critical assets.”
While most companies understand that security is vital to their operations, it is not a part of their core business. “It, therefore, falls to their IT service provider to help them navigate the fog, and gain the best guidance and advice around this critical IT requirement. At Tarsus, we aim to serve as more than just a supplier of solutions, but rather a genuine and trusted advisor to our re-sellers.”
When it comes to scoping cyber security projects, he says, there are many areas that need in-depth, specific expertise, which is why it is so crucial for channel partners to make sure that their staff members have the relevant skills and understanding to deliver on the particular needs of any project.
Over and above this, it is key to have individuals who have the requisite knowledge to handle after-sales service and support, maintenance agreements and troubleshooting not to mention being capable of performing updates and upgrades of current solutions, he explains.
Groenewald says what has been key to success for Tarsus Distribution’s channel partners is making sure that their teams regularly undergo training and certification from their vendors, to make upskilling a priority. “There is a slew of vendor programmes that channel partners can subscribe to for free, to upskill their teams, to help them better understand and implement the security tools and solutions, and to develop the high-level approach to security that is needed,” he adds.
A trusted partner has deep and extensive security knowledge that they can harness to offer real solutions to customers' specific challenges. “To reach this level, however, focusing on obtaining the necessary security qualifications is non-negotiable. Moreover, these certifications must be combined with advanced services that the channel partner can outsource to their security vendor or a distributor such as Tarsus Distribution.”
He says Tarsus Distribution guides its partners to obtain the security skills they need through partner programmes, and above and beyond that, provides them with access to a skilled security engineer who can carry out the customer's implementation as a member of the partner’s own team.
“Many organisations are worried about thriving in the aftermath of the global COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how they can take their businesses to the next level in such tough economic times. I believe the answer lies in having a thorough understanding of and being able to effectively use, the wide range of security solutions, to be able to pinpoint the solutions that best suit the customer's unique requirements.”
Groenewald also advises channel partners to learn to outsource where they can, and to partner as and when they need to. “One more way you can become known as a trusted security advisor is to introduce cyber-security monitoring tools and security as a service, he adds. “This not only cements your position as an expert in this sector but will also open up additional revenue streams for the business and help to build a lifelong partnership.”
At the end of the day, Groenewald says, it's about guaranteeing that your relationship with end-customers has real depth, breadth, and longevity, and encompasses the expertise that technology distributors like Tarsus Distribution can bring to the table. “Get the certifications you need. Make your customers know about of the strength of your partnerships, and stay focused on delivering proactive security services that keep pace with today's modern threats.”
“When it comes to providing the right cyber security and other solutions for customers, it is no longer enough to simply be a box dropper. Today, more than ever before, the old adage ‘the customer is king’ applies, and this is why customer experience is critical to building and maintaining real relationships and reinventing your business – with the help of a distributor like Tarsus Distribution,” concludes Groenewald.
For any channel partners or businesses that are interested in engaging with Tarsus Distribution for assistance with your technology needs, you are invited to reach out to us here.