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How will the role of the reseller change within the next five years in the vendor-partner ecosystem?

How will the role of the reseller change within the next five years in the vendor-partner ecosystem?

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How will the role of the reseller change within the next five years in the vendor-partner ecosystem?

Stefan van de Giessen, Cybersecurity Manager at Networks Unlimited Africa, explains how he thinks the role of the reseller will change within the next five years.

To answer this question holistically, we need to look at the different types of reseller model within this sphere, namely resellers (box droppers), system integrators and managed service security providers (MSSPs).

I see the traditional reseller’s share of the market starting to diminish, as customers start moving towards cloud-based technology and the utilisation of cloud portals, taking advantage of the benefits offered by this approach, including a broader reach, personalisation and focused customer experience. I anticipate that bigger, global vendors within this space, such as Amazon Web Services and Azure, to name a couple, will become more prominent in the small and medium business (SMB) space, as price is locked irrespective of your size. Consumers are opting to engage directly with the vendor via credit card to eliminate the ‘middle man’.

The  ‘box drop reseller’ would cease to exist within the security space. System integrators will have to adapt their business to be far more reliant on generating income from professional services and linked SLA, as product revenue will diminish. Customers migrating their networks into the cloud will have far more flexible payment terms in the form of monthly-in-areas, as opposed to fixed term, upfront payment putting pressure on cashflow.

We’ll see a further consolidation of companies – which is already taking place – and a growing need for the implementation and maintenance of hybrid networks. The MSSPs will continue to flourish, as  the majority of their revenue is already in services, as opposed to pure product sales. The relevance of the local MSSPs to offer ZAR-based pricing, as opposed to paying for a service in USD and making budgeting impossible with our volatile conversion, will come to the fore.

Lastly, I believe that in South Africa, broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) programmes will assist us, the SIs and the MSSPs to flatten the adoption curve to some extent, as we all strive to procure locally and drive local investment back into the market.

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