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Collaboration tools a growing channel play

The growing market for products that allow staff to collaborate remotely and securely is creating some opportunities for resellers

With the number of staff working remotely continuing to rise thanks to faster broadband and the growth in the need for firms to share data with third parties, the products designed to secure those connections are starting to become more prevalent in the channel.

Remote workers have always been seen as a customer base that potentially could be scooped up by retail. But with more onus on corporates, of all sizes, to ensure the connections to the work networks are secure and following best practice, there is an increasing opportunity for the channel to pitch solutions to businesses.

The latest example of that process in action comes from Egress Software Technologies, which has launched its secure workplaces product, which is something that the channel can take out to firms to help make sure that they can collaborate without jeopardising data integrity.

“Given the high-profile data breaches we’ve recently witnessed, both public and commercial organisations are increasingly looking to strengthen their information security practices, without impacting flexibility or efficiency," said Egress COO Neil Larkins.

The Egress Switch Secure Workspace is one of a growing number of products that are designed to deal with the growing amount of technology that is being used outside of the traditional corporate environment.

“Secure, encrypted collaboration tools are going to be a growing opportunity for the channel, especially as more businesses choose to offer flexible working and unify global teams in the next few years," said Tony Pepper, CEO of Egress.

"Modern business is demanding that employees working remotely are able to collaborate on documents as easily as if they were all around the same table in the office, without the need to download large files and track multiple versions of documents. They also need to be able to collaborate without putting customers’ sensitive information at risk or sharing confidential company information with the wrong person," he added.

The growth in the market for collaboration tools is something that should appeal to a wide number of partners because it touches on security, productivity and HR issues.

"Collaboration tools is a growing area of technology that the channel can take advantage of, but security now needs to be “baked in” to deliver lasting value and encourage repeat business," said Pepper.

Paul Routledge, country manager UK&I at D-Link, is also one of those pitching products to the home environment as a result of selling smart home and IP surveillance.

He has noticed different resellers emerging to cater to that market and has established a smart installer programme to help those partners handling some of the emerging technologies to be able to deliver the right customer experience.

The expectation is that this year should prove to be one where the opportunity for the channel to sell into the home worker environment should grow.

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