Looking beyond lockdown

Takeaways from the April 28, C4 Virtual Check-in

Fourteen members of the Canadian Channel Chiefs Council gathered for the second COVID-19-inspired 44-minute touch base to share thoughts on the continuing impact of the pandemic and the ways they are positioning themselves to thrive – during and post lockdown.

On the current state of business

  • If your business is cloud, mobility, or helps empower home-based work, your operation is probably still going full tilt. If you are dependent on retail or entertainment sectors, business is slow.
  • Hardware sales are down, but services are up.
  • Everyone is wary about second quarter results.
  • Some companies are using the lockdown to touch base with existing customers. “Ninety-nine per cent of the time customers are taking the call and very often senior leaders are on the line too.”

On working from home

  • Remote worker situations are now mostly up-and-running. Companies are shifting their focus to fine-tuning processes and dealing with new endpoint security threats.
  • There was a consensus that a reported spike in ransomware and hacking was real, with dark hats focused especially on COVID-19 scams. Some leaders have urged their workers to delete any emails that reference COVID-19.
  • There was divided opinion on the extent of social outreach required for home-based teams. Some leaders said they were celebrating virtual birthdays and holding cyber lunches. Others reported the video fatigue was beginning to set in and people were asking to make the “fun” meetings more optional.

On thinking ahead

  • While many C4 members said they were trying to think ahead and prepare for what the situation might be like in three months, customers/partners are not ready to do so. As a result, there was concern that in three months there could be a significant log jam as multiple players want to be doing the same thing. Clients won’t have the resources and integrators will be booked with their own resources. There may be wait lists for services.
  • Many “live” conferences and events that were pushed to the Fall are now being cancelled. For those that aren’t cancelled, there will be intense competition for an audience.
  •  People are looking for innovative ways to reach customers and partners thru virtual conferences but as we know those can be time/labour intensive in a different way with marketers not having the expertise to run virtual vs in-person events.
  • Several members suggested that while video calls were efficient and generally stable, they were looking forward to a return to an office situation. “The routine is becoming a little boring.”

The next Channel Chiefs Check-in May 19, 2020 at  4 pm (ET) and will be hosted by Cisco with their WebEx Teams Platform.