Skip to main content

Channel Partners Focus on Cloud and Managed Services

Most business technology vendors are already in the process of revamping their traditional marketing organizations to better support their IT channel partners. The ongoing shift to a progressive digital marketing methodology has challenged many leaders, due to the difficulty in re-training their legacy employees.

Moreover, demand for marketing talent that is skilled in the development of digital business transformation projects has increased over the last year, yet the available talent pool remains somewhat limited. As a result, the competition for recruiting (and retaining) digital polymaths is intense -- particularly for those marketers that possess knowledge of hybrid cloud and IT security technologies.

Market Development in the Channel

The global information technology (IT) channel remains optimistic -- despite predictions of a challenging 2016 -- according to a recent Canalys survey of 260 IT channel partners around the world. 75 percent of partners expect revenue growth in 2016, while 70 percent expect profitability growth. They'll likely achieve that growth via superior market development skills.

Revenue growth opportunities for the channel remain abundant in most sectors. Hyper-converged infrastructure, cloud-based applications and software-defined infrastructure were all highlighted as important growth categories. Of all the segments, IT security is expected to perform the best in 2016, with 87 percent of survey respondents expecting growth.

"IT security is already the number one priority for end customers, and is only going to grow in importance as they invest in next-generation data centers, digital transformation, cloud, mobility and IoT. But this also illustrates the complexity of the security landscape – to capitalize, partners will need to develop much greater levels of expertise," said Jordan De Leon, analyst at Canalys.

According to the Canalys assessment, the vast majority of channel partners see themselves in a state of transformation -- realizing that as the industry evolves, so too must the channel landscape. Cloud and managed services are becoming ever more important to the channel business model, with managed services in particular now contributing significantly to partner profitability.

Competition for New Managed Service Customers

For two thirds of respondents, managed services are now more profitable than reselling traditional IT products. That being said, Canalys believes that the channel must address both new buyers within existing customers -- especially Line of Business leaders -- as well as exploring and pursuing completely different IT sales opportunities.

But new competitors are emerging in the channel, from highly focused cloud-only resellers to savvy digital transformation consultants serving the specific needs of industry verticals, such as banking and healthcare.

These companies are application-literate and professional services-led. They're already helping their customers solve business issues, not just selling new technology or products. Channel partners must invest in developing their own vertical and pre-sales capabilities, in order to stay ahead of the game.

For IT vendors, these findings show the importance of building integrated relationships with channel partners. Maintaining simple, easy-to-use partner programs and predictable incentive schemes, while adapting ongoing training and certification to reflect the known technology buyer demands, will be vital for success.

Popular posts from this blog

Digital Transformation Spending Reaches $1.8 Trillion

Ongoing investment in business technology will remain on track, despite concerns about the global economic outlook which continues to evolve in 2022. Enterprise CIOs and CTOs are focused on operational profitability and digital business growth goals that are enabled by strategic IT initiatives. Global spending on the Digital Transformation (DX) of business practices, products, and organizations is forecast to reach $1.8 trillion in 2022 -- that's an increase of 17.6 percent over 2021, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). Many anticipated DX investments will sustain this pace of growth throughout the 2021-2025 forecast period, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.6 percent. Digital Transformation Global Market Development "IDC expects to see aggressive DX technology investment growth in 2022 following a minor slowdown during the pandemic period," said Craig Simpson, senior research manager at IDC . "As orga

Flexible Working: Why Company Culture Matters

The main reasons for the Great Resignation are obsolete leadership, fearful middle managers, and a toxic culture that hinders employee engagement. Perhaps that's why some organizations are still struggling with the consideration and development of a flexible working model.  They're incapable of evolving to a more enlightened approach to work where employees are treated with respect. They're stuck in a bygone era of the 20th-century industrial revolution where 'shareholder value' tops all other values, and where spreadsheets and financial data analysis drives all key decision making. We should not be surprised that 76 percent of human resource (HR) leaders now feel that hybrid work challenges an employee's connection to organizational culture, according to a recent survey by Gartner. A 2022 poll of HR leaders reveals the most challenging aspect of setting their hybrid strategy is adjusting the current organizational culture to support a hybrid workforce. In fact,

Energy Sector IoT Cybersecurity Gains Momentum

The electric distribution industry continues to invest in digital transformation projects. Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology is becoming a driver for connected electricity meters, which will reach an installed base of 1.3 billion by 2027. AMI growth is prompting utilities and energy suppliers to revisit their IT infrastructure security and device management operations, according to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research. Energy Infrastructure Security Market Development Digitization of traditional electricity grids and the modernization of the aging energy infrastructure is among the top concerns for utility operators and governments worldwide. Security for last-mile energy consumption applications was frequently overlooked. "However, the introduction of AMI, smart metering, and grid digitization is steadily increasing spending for secure management services, assisting implementers to transition to IT (information technologies) and OT (operational techno