Posted on 28/03/2012
Unravelling the connectivity conundrum is one of the biggest obstacles in today’s increasingly data centric world. Comms distributor Nimans says building a strong and resilient network infrastructure can be a tricky process for some resellers.
“Get it wrong and you risk the whole pack of cards crumbling around you. It really is that crucial,” said Head of Networks, Mark Curtis-Wood.
“Today, bandwidth is more accessible in terms of cost, whilst connectivity is more stable thanks to products such as EFM (Ethernet First Mile), providing more resilience, stability and speed (especially uploads) to the market place. There’s a growing trend towards deploying SIP trunks which helps deliver more flexible customer solutions.”
He continued: “There’s still a knowledge gap out there which we are working hard to fill. There are lots of resellers looking at transition but they are not all sure how. Annexe M, EFM and FTTC are part of a host of phrases that not everyone understands, as there are many ways to accelerate and enhance network capabilities and performance.
“For me it comes down to resellers painting a picture for their customers. It’s about addressing the ‘So What’ factor. How does that relate to me as a business? I think the big bit that many seem to be missing at the moment is that they do not fully understand what the client needs. In some cases they don’t know themselves.”
He emphasised: “Next Generation Access provides the ability for users to take advantage of some of today’s bandwidth hungry applications. It provides the capability to do more, quicker. It’s important for resellers to think carefully about what their customers are trying to achieve and understand the key technical implications and requirements of different technologies so that the correct access medium is deployed. It can appear to be a minefield and a daunting prospect but don’t be put off.”
Mark says specialist aggregators are emerging in an increasingly data centric world where the focus is on quality and service as well as choice. “One of the major developments surrounds education and training of resellers. That’s an area of ultimate focus because there are resellers that understand they need to make a change into new and emerging markets but they are not always sure how to bridge the skills gap.”
Mark says the whole market has gone through cycles. “If you look at what is happening in the broadband market right now, it’s seen as a commoditised product, a bit cheap and cheerful, where margins are generally low, so from a reseller’s point of view you need high volumes of business.
“The challenge for resellers is to ensure they have the capability and capacity to deliver everything their customers require. Often resellers do not have the resource or knowledge to sell the complete range of solutions. They’ve got the depth of relationship with their clients but they don’t always have all the tools in the bag to deliver what is needed. In reality most resellers will struggle to gain the best commercial rates through direct relationships with network providers simply because they don’t deliver enough volume of business.
“Not all networks are the same. If the right resilience isn’t there from the start then everything else will fall apart. Ultimately a business could come to a stand still. From a reseller’s perspective it’s not just about providing the cheapest solution, but providing the right solution.”