There are three major trends that are changing the way companies and employees in those companies are using the Internet - the Cloud, mobility and social media, Zscaler chief operating officer, Lane Bess, said.
The growth of these trends has led to the need for better security, as well as business collaboration with the channel, he said.
“The biggest change has taken place in the last three to four years. What used to be a closed perimeter is now disappearing – whether its employees working remote or accessing corporate applications outside the company network – leading towards improved security across these platforms,” Bess said.
As these trends become fundamental to the way companies are operating, advanced persistent threats will become more rampant, he said. “Businesses should intercept this before it hits the corporate infrastructure to provide a level of security that’s beyond what most companies are providing today.”
Bess suggested the channel embrace the changes impacting IT businesses to remain relevant in the industry.
“You won’t be able to be competitive and cost effective if you say that you can’t service customers or market your products nimbly and creatively if you don’t leverage these technologies,” he said.
Bess added the NBN deployment will make broadband use on the Internet more accessible at an economic rate.
“You can only imagine once that high-speed Internet is available, there’s going to be more and more use of it by businesses and consumers. Adoption of these trends might even be more important in Australia than some other parts of the world,” he claimed.
Bess also said the channel has to recommit itself to the changing technology landscape.
“In some cases, the channel is slightly behind the curve in terms of keeping its technology solutions fresh and keeping pace with these changes," he said. "Many of the channel partners are still living on the economics from existing hardware and software platforms.
“They think it’s a lot easier for them to renew existing technologies versus seeking out the next wave of technologies to address these changes in the Internet.”
With regards to security, Bess mentioned that many channel partners have struggled to embrace the Cloud as they don’t quite understand what it will do to their business model from what it exists today.
“The idea of selling a Cloud service is something they’re not comfortable with because there’s nothing physical involved in it. Real winners are channel MSPs or VARs that early on see the opportunity to develop a managed services business,” he said.
Bess suggested some strategies that businesses can adopt in getting channel partners to the Cloud:
- Find a few channel partners that are willing to move to the Cloud and focus on only them initially.
- Hand–hold many of the initial sales with these partners and help bring them some business.
- Help them develop a larger business in migrating their services to the Cloud.
“Over time, if there is value in a solution, customers will buy it, channel partners will see customers buy it and they will then want to sell it," he said. "If the channel doesn’t innovate their business and remain meaningful to customers, they’ll disappear and somebody else will take that business.”
Bess also mentioned some of Zscaler’s plans going forward, which include leveraging the carrier space, increasing its current focus on enterprise relationships with VARs and service provider integrators, taking Zscaler as a public company, and expanding within the Asia-Pacific region – especially with a greater penetration in Australia.