Modern Devices take business into the future

The fast-moving trend to digitisation has so far failed to encompass the part of the IT world that touches every user – the end user device.

Now value-added distributor Axiz has launched a new offering that takes ordinary devices and turns them into smart, modern devices that help ease the digitalisation journey for small and medium enterprises in particularly.

Wikus Smit, digital sales manager at Axiz, explains that the new offering – Modern Devices from Axiz – is a complete mobile device ecosystem.

“We are taking existing mobile end user devices, adding software and services and launching the complete bundle,” he says.

Edge devices – laptops, mobile phones, tablets, convertibles and more from vendors HP, Dell EMC and Lenovo – will be available preloaded with Microsoft 365 and available to end users through resellers who can then layer additional services on top.

Smit is quick to point out that the software as a service (SaaS) offering Microsoft 365 offers much more than users are used to getting from Office 365. “It’s a completely new product offering, including Windows 10, Office 365, Active Directory for single sign-on and policy management, a variety of cloud services and layers of security.

“The user will receive his device preconfigured, so he can enjoy an out-of-the-box experience where he simply signs on and doesn’t have to worry about anything else.”

Axiz is pitching the new offering at the SME market, which Smit believes is agile enough to want to move quickly on the digitalisation journey.

SMEs will also benefit from the management and security that’s built into Modern Devices from Axiz.

The value for end users

The main value-add for end users is the speed at which they can get up and running, he says. “They don’t have to wait to get their devices configured: we set it up so there is single sign-on, Windows 10 is automatically deployed, Office is working, and security is running. So the user literally opens the device, logs in and starts working.”

Each Microsoft 365 licence covers up to five devices, so users can integrate all of their edge devices, while their companies can rest assured that they are all managed and secure.

“”Microsoft 365 gives users a complete solution, access to all devices, software and services from anywhere in the world,” Smit says. “So they have the flexibility to work on any device, at any time, from anywhere.

“For us, the decision to deploy a Modern Device compared to a traditional device really is a no-brainer,” he adds. “The cost comes out less than buying a device and subscribing to Office 365 – and the user receives so many more applications and services.”

IT administrators are able to remotely manage devices using InTune, which also allows partners to add managed services over and above what’s in the box.

The value for partners

Adding managed services is going to be important for IT resellers, Smit adds. “The vendor wants resellers to be moving in this direction. By 2020 – that’s in less than two years’ time – Microsoft out-of-the-box products will no longer be supported. This means users will have to all move to the cloud – and we firmly believe that all of our partners should be on a cloud journey already.”

The move to cloud will make the end user much more productive and agile, and it offers new opportunities for reseller partners as well.

“From a monetisation point of view, we can move away from the situation in the past where partners sold devices and software licences, and made a margin on those. The margins have always been low, however, compared to professional services.

“The old way of upgrading software has also moved on: you don’t have new versions every three years anymore, now software is upgraded incrementally and there won’t actually be any more version releases. For instance, Windows 10 is the last Windows that is being launched: in future it will simply be upgraded and updated regularly in the cloud.

“For the reseller, this means he has to start managing the client on an ongoing basis,” Smit points out. “With Modern Devices from Axiz, we are offering a device that is managed services-ready; now the reseller need to build managed services on top of this, that allow him to help the end user with managing security, policies and more on a continuous basis.”

Axiz will work with partners to build the skills required to sell and manage Modern Devices. “We are currently recruiting partners, and building the platform with them,” says Smit.

Modern IT with Modern Devices

The traditional IT world is high-touch but low on flexibility, Smit points out.

With Modern Devices, however, management is easy and agility a top priority. “The user gets the device, opens it, and it works. There’s no need for an IT guy to set it up,” Smit says.

“If there is a problem with the device, it will notify the people in the back end so they can fix it . Plus, patching is automatic so users are less exposed to zero-day threats.”

Security

Cyberthreats are top of mind for every CEO or CIO today. High-profile breaches remind of just how vulnerable each and every organisations is to attack – and how much long-term damage they can cause.

“Modern IT means that CIOs have to secure the whole ecosystem, not just the back office,” Smit explains. “In a world where organisations are struggling to secure their infrastructure, Microsoft 365 comes with intelligent built-in security that’s easy to deploy.”

With Microsoft 365, anti-virus and group policies can be automatically deployed; InTune allows for remote device management on multiple edge devices; and advanced threat protection ensure the security of all devices.

“Zero-day threats are a big issue in today’s security landscape,” Wikus points out. “The advanced threat protection offered by Windows Defender draws on data from Microsoft’s vast network of 1,2-billion managed devices to identify and shut down zero-day threats.

“Microsoft 365 also offer identity management and mobile device management, so there’s a ton of security built in.”

Arguably the biggest gap in security is created by inefficient patching. “Moving to Windows 10 means that the partner can manage patching automatically for end customers. This is a big plus for end users.”

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About Us

Axiz is an African company invested in the future of the African Information and Technology Age. Our focus is to build ecosystems in order to simplify the way customers interact with technology, solutions and each other. Founded in1989 as an ICT distribution company solely based in South Africa, Axiz has today evolved into a continental business with a physical footprint in 8 countries including Kenya, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana and Mauritius and sales presence in many more.

As a solutions aggregator dedicated to offering ground breaking value-added solutions to our registered partner channel, we currently house over 50 ICT brands, each working in tandem with our vendors and partners to deliver a holistic ecosystem tailored to the needs of the channel whilst delivering shared value to all our stakeholders. Axiz retains a level 2 BBBEE status under the group subsidiaries DCT Holdings (Pty) Ltd as part of the JSE listed Alviva Holdings Group.

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