20 Key Takeaways from 2020: The Year Tech changed the World

20 Key Takeaways from 2020: The Year Tech Changed the World


Those in attendance at last weeks' episode of CRN ON heard from some of our industry's leading visionaries as they talked about the impact this year's events have had on their business.

boxxe was delighted to be invited to present a case study 'Evolving through Lockdown' which saw boxxe's leaders discuss not only how we are overcoming the challenges presented by lockdown, but how we're embracing the opportunities that are emerging from this pandemic period.

Watch the boxxe case study below or view the full event here.

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Key takeaways from Agilitas on digital evolution:

The event, hosted by Sara Yirrell of CRN, began with a conversation with Agilitas' CEO Shaun Lynn about digital evolution.  

    1. People matter. People are the fabric of a business and we need to remember that the pandemic is about people, not balance sheets and cash position.
    2. The pandemic has sped up the digital evolution. The use of ‘modern’ technology – especially collaboration tools and in particular the adoption of video calls – has accelerated. 
    3. Everybody has had to look at their business continuity and disaster recovery plans and must now start to think outside of the box. In addition, people are examining their strategies around supply chain and, where possible, not being at risk to one particular territory or region. It’s not enough to simply plan for the expected.
    4. It is important for channel firms to collaborate with specialist partners to deliver the new outcomes that their customers are now demanding. Services form a key part of this - many businesses are becoming more service centric.
    5. Businesses should think about their customer experience. It’s important to value, keep and enhance what you’ve got.

Key insights from boxxe on evolving through lockdown:

The boxxe case study, presented by CEO Phil Doye and CRO Joel Berwitz, addressed four key considerations in 2020; evolution, obstacles, motivation, and growth.

    1. We’ve had to look at how we do business, how we engage with our people, how we engage with our customers, how we do things that were previously done in an office environment, remotely. It’s given us an opportunity to reinvent ourselves. We have an opportunity to do things differently in an environment where everything gets challenged.
    2. boxxe has been able to take time and evaluate our business and our processes – to look at the way we digitise things, look at the ways we adopt new technology. And as a result we’ve been able to leverage the power of digital transformation in our own business.

      “It almost feels like you’ve got to make changes while you’re in a moving vehicle – this period has given us a chance to look at the way that we work, the way that our people work, and the way that our customers want to work with us and make changes to the way that we do business.” Phil Doye, CEO, boxxe

    3. One of the biggest obstacles is how do we create an organisation that allows those people who previously worked in an office to work from anywhere and continue to feel like they’re being developed? We want our people to feel like part of the organisation and to feel like they’re impacting it and influencing it – how we overcome this challenge really defines how successful we come out of this pandemic period.

    4. This period is unique for each one of us – there’s no one size fits all to keep all of our people engaged and motivated. Our managers are taking time to understand individuals better, and they’re better able to do this because a 1:1 on a video call is a much more private situation.

    5. We’re keeping people motivated and engaged with an increased level of formal and informal communication – 1:1 time as well as regular team meetings, social events... Because we’re apart we’ve made more of an effort to be together and more of an effort to be connected.
    6. The pandemic has offered us a growth opportunity. Customers want to interact with us from a digital perspective and this is our chance to rethink the way in which we deliver the services and solutions and information that our customers are asking for via a digital method. We’re investing in digital platforms that give customers the engagement they want.
    7. We’re making sure our messaging to customers is very focussed. We’re not about selling someone something because it’s on our agenda – we’re offering someone a solution to a challenge we know that they’re facing. A specific outcome, based on a specific persona.
    8. Our core focus is on automation. In the current climate, organisations need to make sure all of their processes are as efficient as possible. We’re able to help customers drill into processes, pick the right technology, automate as much as possible from the outset.

      "We're emerging as a more digitally transformed business which has benefits for our customers, for our people, and for boxxe itself." Phil Doye, CEO, boxxe

Key takeaways from the panel discussion 'expect the unexpected':

The panel featured both reseller and end user customers; Agilitas, Unidays, Graniteshares, World Wide Technology and Sapphire were represented. The key takeaways were:

    1. Businesses that had already adopted remote working, even to a small extent, were able to transition to enforced remote working more quickly and more smoothly because they had the infrastructure in place and were better equipped to deal with it. Young companies were able to better adapt as they had been built leveraging modern and cloud technologies.
    2. For some companies, working from home was completely new. It involves more than just businesses adopting the technology, it requires people to adopt the technology, and to understand how to be secure and how to be productive from home. There were policies and training requirements on top of technology adoption and change management.
    3. Communication has improved as we’ve been pushed towards video conferencing.
    4. Compliance, data privacy and cyber security were and will continue to be one of the biggest challenges. Being agile increases the attack surface for cybercriminals and we saw a spike in cybersecurity events and breaches from April 2020 onwards.
    5. Customers are planning to invest in anything that gives an instant benefit. Security is a major investment focus - the fundamentals as well as training and culture. The panel also anticipate increased investment in managed services. If workforces reduce and security challenges increase, customers will look to their IT service providers for help.
    6. Everyone’s trying to help one another through the situation – we’re all in it together. The winners through this will be those that are able to react quickly, and those doing business with integrity, flexibility, and empathy. Supporting businesses with extended payment terms, finance offerings and so on where they are able to.
    7. Smart workspaces offer a great solution to our new world of work – people can work from any device in any location at anytime.

Watch the full event on demand

Watch the full episode of CRN On on demand, and download the report '2020: The Year Technology Changed the World'.  CRN in associated with Agilitas, researched more than 150 customers to understand exactly how technology has helped them through the pandemic and the role IT suppliers have played in that.


Watch the event


Download the report


The boxxe Agilitas partnership and what it means for our customers

Agilitas power boxxe's Platform: Hardware Cover and Workplace: Hardware Cover services.

Business today is fast-paced and organisations need flexible, responsive partners that they can rely upon when technology lets them down. Our Hardware Cover services are IT parts and logistics services that ensure parts availability with minimum investment, regardless of technology, maximising your business 'uptime.

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