ChannelVision Playbook Volume 7

Simple can be great, but sometimes the desire to keep things simple leads to the risk of oversimplifying something that shouldn’t be. That risk definitely exists in the technology world, where customers so often wish that every solution would come in a shrink-wrapped box – prepackaged and ready to simply plug and play. That expec- tation may be appropriate for plugging in a desk phone at a new employee’s desk. You expect that phone to work and immediately hear a ring tone. The difficulty comes when customers want every IT solution to come in a one-size-fits-all package. This is when simplicity crosses over the border into over- simplification, and nothing good happens to customers or their channel partners in the land of oversimplification. Oversimplification is particularly se- ductive to mid-market customers, which are caught in the gap between the small business market (that truly does have plug-and-play solutions for so many IT challenges) and the large enterprise mar- ket (where deep pockets can simply throw money at IT needs to get where they want to go). Mid-sized companies look long- ingly at their smaller cousins and much bigger cousins and naturally wish their life was that simple in terms of IT. It’s hard to look at the consumer-style, plug-and-play IT solutions that are available to small businesses and not be a bit jealous if you are a mid-sized company with much more complex IT needs. And it’s also hard to look at how large enterprises simplify the heck out of complex IT projects by spending seemingly limitless budgets on outside vendors that carry the burden managing their IT solutions. No one can blame mid-sized com- panies for wanting simplicity. They look around and see everyone else eating warm-to-the-touch bread with butter and nibbling berries with cream, and they want the same thing. I get it. But all too By Yulia Duryea Keep it (Not-So) Simple S imple can be great. Simple can be better than great, actually. Fresh-baked bread plus butter equals simple and beyond great. Fresh blackberries still warm from the sun plus homemade whipped cream is simple and greater than great. I’m first in line for that. Pinot noir plus glass plus sunset … you get the picture. Avoiding SD-WAN Oversimplifications 18 THE CHANNEL MANAGER’S PLAYBOOK