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The reaction of vendors to the Covid-19 coronavirus has shown a level of sympathy to both channel partners and customers that are struggling to cope with the lockdown.
Short of giving away products for free, which some have done for a limited period, the reaction of the vendor community has been around the concept of flexibility. Payment terms have been extended, partner access to market development funds (MDF) eased and for customers there have been different options for payment.
The list of vendors that have reacted to the coronavirus continues to grow, and there are some examples that could well be used by the channel after the current crisis has passed, with many viewing working more digitally as the “new normal”.
Among the growing list of those vendors helping the channel and customers is Pure Storage, and it is keen to flag its efforts to its channel base.
The storage player is taking steps to keep customers in a position where they can continue to turn to partners to meet their storage needs and can develop their data management needs, despite the restrictions placed on everyone because of the lockdown.
Offerings coming out from the vendor include Pure as-a-Service, which is available free for the first three months for new customers with a 12-month contract term of 50 TiB or more, or six months free with a 24-month term.
Those struggling with installing flash products are being given the option to use videoconferencing so customers can be guided through the installation process for themselves if they so choose.
Partners can also reach out to those customers who are looking to try before they buy. With shipping out hardware and installing it for a trial not an option in most cases, the vendor has made a self-service option available with its Test Drive and Proof of Concept Labs. The firm is also able to use workload planner software to show customers how a system would perform under different conditions.
Another potential problem that Pure has moved to head-off is the impact on storage capacity of a disparate workforce. With it difficult for storage managers to physically walk the server rooms and monitor usage, the vendor is making mobile system management available so customers can track their consumption and availability, regardless of location.
“Technology doesn’t eclipse what’s happening around the world right now, but it does play a critical role in finding innovative solutions to keeping the global economy moving,” said Joe Pinto, chief customer experience officer at Pure Storage.
“We’re all in this together, and we feel it is our responsibility to help our customers and our community navigate this new reality as best as we can,” he added.
Research from Studio Graphene found that half of UK businesses were caught off guard by the sudden shift to remote working caused by coronavirus.
Many have invested in the hardware and software tools needed to support their staff, but the research also found that there was a sense for many that the current situation would mark a more significant turning point.
“The lockdown has been a wake-up call for all businesses. While some already embraced practices to enable employees to work remotely, a great many were caught out when offices closed – they did not have the tech in place for staff to work effectively from their homes,” said Ritam Gandhi, founder and director of Studio Graphene.
“The seeds for the flexible-working revolution have truly been sown, and the pandemic will certainly accelerate the move towards employees doing their jobs outside of the office’s four walls,” he added.
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