The ongoing onslaught of ransomware, ever widening threat vectors, increasingly mobile endpoints and cloud adoption, along with a shortage in cyber security experts are combining to create a perfect storm for security – and a perfect opportunity for resellers.
Chris Kidd, Comstor Cisco business development manager, says the changing face of security – and indeed technology adoption and digital transformation in general – is opening the doors for new business opportunities for Kiwi resellers.
“There is a significant need for many solutions to be easy to deploy and manage,” Kidd says.
“Security is very important, but this need for simple, scalable management of networks extends to the full stack, including network WAN, network switching and wireless, mobile device management and sometimes physical security with cameras.”
He says this is providing resellers with a business opportunity that is cost effective, secure, resilient and functionally advanced solution to Kiwi businesses.
“Centralised cloud management is the key and includes being able to offer a managed service model without the traditional large initial investment,” Kidd says.
He says the managed services model provides ‘the sophistication and effectiveness to combat cybercriminals in a cost effective way’ while providing a resilient and often cost saving WAN.
“Hackers are looking for ways to monetise their activities and utilise ransomware for that purpose,” Kidd says, noting that previously the key priority for businesses in terms of security was to protect IP.
“The problem is that unlike the physical world, where we have law enforcement, the cyberworld doesn’t have such a thing at the business level, so we have to do it ourselves.”
Kidd points out that protecting the enterprise is becoming more complex, due to widening attack vectors, including the internet of things, and the rapid morphing of attacks.
At the same time, technology – and security – is becoming an enabler for businesses, allowing them to deploy new technologies and tools in the cloud to stay ahead of the competition.
“If you’re reliant on all this technology and then you’re attacked, it all falls apart,” Kidd notes.
“All of this can become really overwhelming and the danger is that companies stick their head in the sand and do nothing, or fool themselves into thinking that the old traditional methods they deployed three or five years ago are actually protecting them, and find out the hard way that they’re not,” he cautions.
However, he explains that the solution doesn't have to be complex to deploy, or expensive to maintain.
“Under all of this, there is a big business opportunity for resellers with managed services. It doesn't require a huge capital outlay and provides the chance to support, manage and do it in a way that is profitable.”
Kidd advocates using Meraki’s 100% cloud managed IT, resellers can quickly and easily deliver a cost effective, feature-rich and capable, solution, covering security, wireless, switching, EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) and physical security, managed via Meraki’s web-based dashboard interface.
He dubs Meraki ‘IT lite’, enabling resellers to do remote deployments and manage large numbers of devices with less resources.
“We can ship directly to the site and while they’re in transit the reseller, or managed service provider, can configure the devices in the Dashboard.
“When they arrive someone just physically plugs in the cables and they call home and load their config and then burst into life, literally.”
For the reseller, Kidd states Meraki is not only light on resources required, but also the training required.
He cites the example of one partner who did their first deployment covering 50 branches and commented on how smooth and easy the offering was to deploy, after just a 30 minute demonstration webinar.
“That is reality,” Kidd says. “It’s also an element of it all being profitable at the end of the day for resellers.
“It’s not just another technology that they have to invest hugely in with training or backend infrastructure to support. They can deploy, out of the box, a next day managed service, and it’s a security managed service, a network managed service, a mobile device managed service and beyond. The world is their oyster.”
Kidd says with Meraki’s position as a product set within Cisco other doors are open for upselling and cross selling.
“There are further products within the Cisco portfolio that can help resellers deliver specific outcomes for customers as well.
"Products like Cisco Umbrellar, which is a security product leveraging DNS as its transport. It’s like putting a shield around your entire organisation, protecting you before the threats even get to your network.”
Retail is another key opportunity yet to be fully tapped by resellers, Kidd advises.
“Meraki fits very nicely in the multi-branch scenario and there are big use cases in retail from that aspect, but also from the wireless LAN management side and utilising location analytics to provide visibility of foot traffic and understanding of retailers’ customers.”
Beyond retail, Kidd says healthcare and education also offer big opportunities.
Comstor will be launching weekly live demos of the products, beginning at 2pm today. Click here to register and find out more about the webinars - running at 2pm on Wednesday 11 October, Tuesday 17 October, Wednesday 25 October and Wednesday 01 November - and also additional Meraki discounts which are currently available.