1. Key channel plays for 2015?
One of the key plays for NETGEAR this year relates to storage and Backup and Disaster Recovery as a service.
Traditionally, resellers have struggled to transition from a pure 2box storage system to managed service providers. However, backup and disaster recovery as a service provides one of the easiest ways of doing exactly that transition. Existing hardware offerings that are already part of the portfolio, if they provide the appropriate software and cloud integration, can easily be transferred into managed service offerings. The end customer has local storage on premise, and the reseller backs up data from that local storage to their own small data centre. All of this management is under control of the reseller.
One of the obstacles so far has been the need to do additional and regular full backups in weekly intervals which are a challenge from a “as a service” perspective, as these backups cannot be performed over the internet in most bandwidth-constrained environments. With NETGEAR ReadyRECOVER, this is no long a problem as the solution requires only one full physical backup at the beginning of the implementation.
2. Key technology for 2015?
Given my focus at NETGEAR is storage, I would suggest back and data recovery techniques that smoothly integrate into managed service offerings that reduce “on premise” activities for the reseller. Together with more and more of the adoption of Snapshot technologies providing hourly or less granularity when protecting file and server data (NFS/iSCSI) on the first backup tier, to further reduce effects of data corruption or human error. These enterprise capabilities now become more and more available and adopted in the SMB space.
Another trend that we are seeing is that the personal cloud is becoming more and more a discussion point especially for smaller customers who do not have complex VPN-solutions in place taking care of remote access and collaboration. IT is seeking for ways to reduce “shadow IT”, for example the extensive use of Dropbox in business environments imposes incalculable risk and cost. Solutions that allow for “personal cloud functionalities” such as access from anywhere, on any device and collaboration on own hardware is on the rise. Important though for these solutions are security aspects, many vendors require port forwarding, as opposed to VPN technology, such as ReadyCLOUD. Also extremely important is ease of use. A personal cloud service does not have to require more than installing an app and setting up a user ID.
3. Key message to the channel for 2015?
Don’t be shy to get into managed services offerings. This is where the future value lies! Also keep an eye open for technologies that further reduce the effect of data loss, corruption and deletion for customers.
4. Key warning to the channel for 2015?
Don’t miss out on key trends – managed services, increased levels of data protection, smaller intervals of protection (by using advanced snap shot technology now available on SMB NAS-systems), and customers searching for ways to include cloud technologies to make their workforce more location and device independent.
5. Key to their company for 2015?
In 2015 we will be focusing on all areas of our business including our products, partners and customers. We will be continuing to develop and innovate in key technologies and take advantage of growth opportunities such as personal cloud, 10GB and Power over the Ethernet (PoE). We can’t do this without continuing to support and train our channel partners both locally and globally, and as always we remain committed to educating and finding genuine solutions for SMB’s and end customers.