As seen on CRN
By Gina Narcisi
NWN Carousel has been upping its hybrid work game this year. Now the solution provider powerhouse has revealed two new bundled solutions for both home workers and those returning to the office.
The two new hybrid work kits include At-Home Essentials and Office Collaboration Room-as-a-Service. NWN Carousel is selling these solutions through its own channel of partners and taking the kits directly to its thousands of end customers via a flexible, consumption-based selling model.
NWN in 2021 acquired Carousel Industries in a blockbuster deal that brought together two Cisco Gold partners that were both known as specialists in unified communications, networking and security. Now integrated, NWN Carousel has more than 1,200 employees and 7,000 customer accounts.
Today, the Boston-based company is bringing its strengths to the table to help solve one of the biggest problems facing businesses today: hybrid work. As an integrated service provider, NWN Carousel in January introduced Hybrid Work Suite, a collection of six components for hybrid work environments, including devices, contact center, unified communications, security, collaboration and networking. The collection of components sits on top of the company’s homegrown Experience Management Platform that customers can use for self-service and to gain analytics and user data.
The two latest kits set NWN Carousel apart because it’s bringing integrated technology bundles to market that include popular solutions from best-of-breed vendors, including Cisco and Fortinet, with a powerful managed services wrapper, said NWN Carousel CMO Andrew Gilman.
“IT staffs are stretched to the max and workers are everywhere. Taking one thing off the plate and giving a managed services guarantee around IT is really strategic,” Gilman said.
The At-Home Essentials kit offers business-grade connectivity—including bandwidth and Cisco Meraki wireless access points—as well as visual collaboration tools, which include high-resolution desktop cameras, face lighting and advanced speakers, microphones and headsets. The kit also includes end-user service desk support. Users have a choice between third-party collaboration device vendor products, including Cisco Webex and Poly hardware for video meetings. The At-Home Essentials kit can integrate with existing solutions customers may already have in their environments, like Microsoft Teams, Gilman said. The At-Home Essentials kit is offered in a per-user, per-month managed service.
“We’re hearing a lot from our customers that certain knowledge workers just aren’t going back to the office, like some contact center agents, and the business wants to make this more of a permanent extension,” said NWN Carousel CTO Eric Bostick. “The At-Home Essentials kit is almost like extending a company’s network infrastructure into someone’s home.”
The Office Collaboration Room-as-a-Service kit for employees returning to work part-time or full-time includes visual collaboration hardware, software and services sold in a flexible consumption model to support changing office dynamics. The kit can be easily scaled up and down from huddle rooms all the way up to a boardroom experience, Gilman said.
“Everyone’s trying to figure out their strategy for return to office and what that looks like. There’s so much complexity around the capital expenses, the supply chain, getting people to show up and retrofitting these offices,” Gilman said. “Ultimately, you have to make it as great of an experience in the office as it was what they had when they were home [because] there’s nothing harder than asking a worker to come back to the office to just sit in their office doing their work by themselves.”
NWN Carousel is helping one customer, Silicon Valley Bank, with its initiative to encourage employees to return to work by outfitting its offices with new meeting technology. NWN Carousel has deployed 91 new collaboration rooms across all the company’s offices in North America, Gilman said.
“Folks are looking for new and creative reasons to bring people back and give them that equitable experience wherever they are so that they can work productively,” he said.