The RME forum and panel discussion held as part of the Reseller ME Forum & Excellence Awards 2020, brought together a panel of experts to discuss with RME Editor Anita Joseph how companies are navigating the rapid market & technological changes that happened last year.
Our six distinguished panelists included:
They spoke about lessons learned, technologies adopted and the way forward, as the world continues to grapple with the crisis. Amidst the varying perspectives, one thing was clear: 2020 was tough, but innovation and adaptability kept businesses going forward. However, companies should be better able to learn and evolve, willing to innovate and transform completely if need be, and always prepare for the unexpected.
Speaking of NetApp’s journey, Maya Zakhour said that the pandemic accelerated the company’s transformation from being a storage vendor to hybrid cloud data services organization – moving completely from hardware, to a cloud/software provider. For Mario Veljovic the crisis was an opportunity to “test” their digital transformation initiatives and make greater efforts to stay connected to the partner ecosystem. Taj El-Khayat said that for them, from Day Zero, they had to take swift action to support their customers and partners to respond to this pandemic. Firas Saifan said the key learning was that one always has to be prepared, not just with resources, but with a complete ecosystem with partners and vendors to really complete complement the cycle. For Santhosh Sansare, it was all about reassessing strategies and adapting to technologies quickly and fast. VM Manu said that the uncertainty created by the pandemic made them resolved more than ever not to cut back on their staff and to serve customers with a renewed confidence and optimism.
Digitalization, it was clear, is the way forward, with the focus on remote-first. Everyone agreed that while the tech mindset of people increased significantly in the last few months, artificial intelligence and cloud took on major roles in business operations. Robotic Process Automation is also providing immense opportunities for digital transformation, as well as IoT, which helps to control people and devices more effectively. Undoubtedly, what was thought of as being just a sprint “turned out to be an endurance race” in Mario's words. However, there was a little doubt that greater collaboration with vendors and partners helped them stay relevant and continue growing. As we bid goodbye to a tumultuous year, the panelists concurred that the future is bright and that the coming months will be all about solutions and customer services. The companies that succeeded will be all about innovation, confidence and adaptability, and the realization that we’re all part of the same value chain and, so will impact each other in more ways than one, will bring in greater collaboration, connection and communication in the business world.
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