As the world continues to navigate the challenges of a global pandemic, our partners adapt to a distributed workforce and the evolving business needs of their customers. This week, Rich Steeves spoke with Miriam Byrne, Services Director at Triangle Computer Services, in a virtual “coffee chat” to learn how Triangle is meeting customer challenges with innovative solutions.
With 121 VMware certifications, Triangle, a 2019 Tech Excellence Award winner, is leveraging their partnership with VMware to manage business continuity and ensure they have the right skills to support their customers’ cloud journey. Triangle is recognized at the Advanced level in VMware’s new Partner Connect Program across four IT pathways.
The pandemic has altered the way everyone does business for the foreseeable future, and adaptation is key for our partners and their customers. Interpersonal communication has been limited to non-face-to-face interactions with internal teams and customers, impacting how we navigate the current environment and defining success moving forward.
“Since we are a services partner, some of our world did not change,” said Miriam. After the initial move toward work-from-home, Triangle recognized the urgent need from some customers to help set up a remote workforce. “From an overall services delivery perspective, that didn’t change dramatically.” Miriam reinforced that a few projects stalled temporarily but picked back up again. According to Miriam, a lot of retail customers – particularly food retail – were running their business with “Christmas-level demand every day.” This required more managed services support and extra reassurance to accommodate the higher demand.
Fashion retailers stopped their operations for several weeks and then realized they had “a golden opportunity to do some infrastructure projects” with no risk of disrupting operations. Projects initiated at the beginning of the pandemic have now led to opportunities Triangle is driving with customers to make big infrastructure improvements. According to Miriam, “fashion retailers with robust balance sheets and clear medium to long term growth plans used the period of suspended operations to accelerate strategic infrastructure projects – aligned to their aggressive growth.”
For customers with an international presence, Triangle has been finding that some of the barriers to meeting onsite have disappeared, as those customers are also not meeting onsite.
“For in-person meetings, we used to meet with our customers every six weeks. But at the moment, we are meeting with them every two weeks on Zoom. It actually makes the flow better to get the opportunity to meet more frequently.” – Miriam Byrne
Although new opportunity development is a challenge with less interpersonal rapport from a virtual exchange, the momentum with service delivery is gaining even more traction. To help stimulate new opportunity development, Triangle has hosted several online events. With VMworld moving to an online platform this year, Triangle will be hosting a post-VMworld online event summarizing key announcements with their customers in an interactive and engaging discussion.
Mobile Platform Momentum
The need for remote working continues to drive customer conversations. In particular, Miriam mentioned that discussions around Workspace ONE have remained top-of-mind for many customers, highlighting the need for go-to-market messaging around Workspace ONE to help shape those discussions.
According to Miriam, the urgent need for digital workspace infrastructure has demonstrated a general knowledge gap regarding the mobile platform. “What’s missing is an understanding about how different a mobile platform is for digital workspace than it is for a back-end traditional infrastructure,” said Miriam. “We have invested a lot of time explaining the key differences between the two.”
“That roadmap between the traditional infrastructure and how you get yourself in stages to that digital workspace using Workspace ONE as your secure identity and secure content – that is an untapped opportunity.” – Miriam Byrne
Security at the Forefront
With business continuity as the main concern for customers early in the pandemic, the rapid deployment of desktop infrastructure introduced new security threat implications. Enabling a secure environment for a remote workforce seemed an after thought, prioritized after deployment. As customers begin to evaluate the rapid transformations in their environments, security will become a new priority for the remote conversation – representing a new complexity in how they manage their workforce.
“This goes back to the issue with the knowledge gap. It is one thing to understand the need for a digital workspace, but understanding how to get there and the security implications that go with it is an ongoing challenge.” – Miriam Byrne
Triangle strongly believes that “understanding is coming.” With Workspace ONE as the most mature product from a secure identity perspective, adding Carbon Black, SD-WAN by VeloCloud possibilities from a SaaS route takes us on the right track. “It is about trying to get the market to understand it outside of a technical conversation,” added Miriam. “Talking about security is inherently tricky, but the biggest challenge at the moment is up-leveling the security conversation.”
“It is so important to the day-to-day operation of their business and their revenue stream. If I start talking technical or mention Workspace ONE or endpoint security, they won’t know what I am talking about. It is the extraction of all that tech into business outcomes that is the most important and the most challenging.” – Miriam Byrne
Investing for the Future
Triangle continues to prioritize managed services, building on the services that VMware offers and the opportunity that lies ahead. With the smaller Irish market, Triangle’s level of investment remains focused on multi-teneted service opportunities and diverse project opportunities that require flexibility with the full VMware portfolio.
Triangle is also taking advantage of several education offerings, including two Ignite trainings on SD-WAN and VxRail to reinforce and broaden the understanding of VMware’s newer hybrid offerings within their organization. Triangle has also focused on enablement around Carbon Black, even installing it for themselves in the last few weeks on their own infrastructure for training.
Moving forward, Miriam said that they will continue to host and participate in frequent virtual meetings, as they find the conversations very beneficial.
“We obviously miss the face-to-face conversations because that is a different interpersonal experience. But the quick, virtual check-ins have been quite valuable. When you are talking more regularly, the day-to-day subject matter comes out as opposed to always talking ‘big ticket.’ Sometimes the day-to-day is really valuable in capturing smaller issues before they become a bigger problem. While there has been a reduction in the number of face to face meetings we would typically have, we are still meeting the senior stakeholders in our customer accounts and we have found the ‘grab a coffee and walk’ a socially distant compliant way to keep current with their agendas. If someone is going to take the time to meet for a walk and a discussion it will be a clear agenda and usually a clear ask or request. A lot can be achieved out walking!” – Miriam Byrne
For additional opportunities and targeted promotions that Triangle Computer Services is driving with their customers, please visit the links below:
For more information about Business Continuity efforts from VMware:
- Business Continuity Solutions
- A message from Pat Gelsinger about COVID-19
- Partner Connect Portal Business Continuity Information and Offers
Sr. Director, Partner Programs and Experience
Worldwide Partner Organization