Channel Insider Podcast


Comms Business is delighted to present the Channel Insider Podcast. This new initiative is brought to you in conjunction with Knight Corporate Finance to bring expert Channel commentary to readers in an easily consumable format. Each week David Dungay, Editor of Comms Business, is joined by market participants to discuss the biggest stories of the week. Tune in now online.

Adrian Sunderland, CTO of Jola

EP. 6 – Teams overtakes Slack

Office365 has become the defacto standard business app in most businesses. I can’t think of a business that doesn’t use the Microsoft Office suite and the most cost effective way to buy it is through Microsoft 365. If you use Office 365 you get Teams for free so it is a fairly easy to adopt if you are looking for a collaboration tool. We used Slack before Teams was available and enjoyed the collaboration but once Teams was available we started using that because it was more tightly integrated into Office. It’s not a surprise to me any more than Internet Explorer overtaking Netscape as a browser when it started being bundled in with Windows.

Adam Zoldan, Director of Knight Corporate Finance

EP. 2 – IDE Group shares suspended

“This isn’t a great story, acquisitions don’t always go well. This was a merger funded by a public finance raise which saw Selection Services, a managed IT business, acquired for £35m along with C4L, a data centre business, for £25m and later a smaller IT services business for about £5.5m. The idea was to stick them all together and suddenly you can cross sell hosting and data centres to IT businesses and IT services to the data centre businesses. It looked like an interesting story but the wheels have well and truly come off it seems. They have had to fund raise at fairly short notice in the last six months, about £15m just to keep it going. The share price has currently lost 96% of its value. We don’t like to see it, inorganic growth and investment in the industry is normally a positive thing but I think we can probably learn a few lessons here.”

Dan Cunliffe, MD of Pangea

EP.3 – Channel pricing and adding value

“It’s really down to the fact you have to keep adding value to the product and in some cases you can improve the pricing when the opportunity suggests its important but from Channel perspective 99 per cent of it is B2B or B2B2B and then several mouths to feed. On the vendor side of things, they definitely have to deal with much tighter margins but then as you move to the end user the margins tend to increase. Usually the partner selling to the end users have slightly higher margins which comes down to them bringing things together. Pricing wise, it is really driven by offering SLA’s on your products, offering more value, trying to take away pain when you are working with an operator for example. We are trying to create an easier way to do business and there is a cost for that. Sometimes you can’t just say ‘I’m buying that product at that price from the guy down the road why can’t I get it from you?’ We say its because of these reasons, SLA’s, business backed, making it simpler etc. Justifying and creating worth in your product is really important for the whole Channel, its how you stay alive.”

Tim Walker, Managing Director of Aura Technology

EP.5 – Aura appoints Clive Woodward to board

“I like the idea of accountability and external oversight that a business has by involving non-execs. Whilst we may put non-execs onto Aura’s board which have very specific IT and managed services experience to me there was no other name I wanted associated other than Clive Woodward. I think what he has achieved in sport speaks for itself, it’s at the pinnacle of achievement but also what he has achieved in business, from his leasing business which he successfully sold when rugby turned professional to creating Hive Learning and all the other coaching and non-excec roles he does just said to me if we are going to set ourselves out to be the best possible business we can be and put ourselves on the line to performing to the best as we possible can do as a board then we want Clive involved.”

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