D-Link Corporation, a provider of connectivity solutions for small, medium and large enterprise business networking, has advised channel partners in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) to take the lead and help SMBs on their digital transformation journey.
According to the networking solutions vendor, the SMB market is the largest spending sector for all kinds of technology products, but is still challenged by limited IT budgets, rapid pace at which technology is evolving and the cost of implementing some of the technology solutions available in the market today.
Sakkeer Hussain, director - Sales and Marketing, D-Link Middle East and Africa (MEA), said while there is no denying that digital transformation offers opportunities for resellers targeting the SMB segment, channel partners that will succeed are those that have invested in solutions-selling, additional IT skills and partner certifications not just in networking but in all the other areas of IT including security, storage and business applications.
Hussain said the SMB market is one of the strongest segments in the MEA market and there are a lot small and medium-sized companies spread throughout the region that need to be guided by channel partners on their digital transformation journeys. "The SMB is by far the strongest performing sector for D-Link and for this reason, we are encouraging partners that serve this market segment to help their customers upgrade to new IT infrastructure and help them to embrace the cloud," he said. "Guiding customers to look at the OPEX model rather than CAPEX is one sure way of encouraging small businesses to spend on the latest technologies and cloud-based investments are a safer bet for them."
He said D-Link is one of the IT networking vendors that realised quite early the importance of being in the cloud. "As the market has evolved, private and public cloud have taken centre stage and this is crucial for the success of small businesses," he said. "As the cloud has taken off with varying degrees of understanding of the what it really offers, most SOHO and SMB customers are looking for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), software-as-a-service (SaaS), managed security services, unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS)."
Hussain pointed out that to be able to use any of these services, SMB customers need to have a robust network that enables their business to access these services and that's where channel partners come in.
He added that SMBs are looking for technologies that make their employees to no longer be bound to their desks and 11ac networking technology is one such technology. "D-Link as a manufacturer of the latest 802.11ac products believes SMBs are benefiting from the wireless improvements promised by 11ac products," he said. "Coming to verticals, I believe the hospitality, logistics, transportation, education and tourism verticals are seeing a lot of traction and deploying the latest ICT solutions."
Hussain pointed out that there is no doubt that the increased Internet broadband penetration currently being witnessed across the Middle East is having a positive effect of the growth of networking products and wireless solutions in the SMB sector. "Having more people connected to the Internet be it consumers, SOHO, SMBs or big corporates, benefits everyone as people are now in a better position to access the many services offered online or via a cloud hosted model," he said.