• Automation will save the channel partner

        • New research has emerged that reveals how the traditional partner programme is no longer held with the same regard by the channel partners. Here, Peter Olive, CEO, Vortex 6 discusses the key reasons behind the findings.

          The survey by Canalys shows that the percentage of partners that view channel programmes as important when evaluating IT vendor relationships had dropped from 94 per cent in 2016 to just 77 per cent today. In addition, nine percent of the channel firms questioned rated partner programmes as ‘not at all important.’

          So what are the main reasons for this? Either a lack of consistency or too many changes to the programmes was the top complaint, the survey found. Complexity in achieving certifications and specialisations was also cited as a sore point by resellers, VARs, MSPs and other channel players.

          It is a difficult balance for the vendor to strike. The programmes must reflect the enormous changes occurring in the industry; traditional resale margins are being squeezed, and the channel is having to adapt their business models to the cloud and the new consumption-based services clients are demanding.

          This can mean adjusting the traditional revenue thresholds that have been used historically to categorise partners to include more of a focus on training and certification, for example as well as a focus on more annuity based sales.

          However, compliance to vendors’ partner programmes can already seem like a complicated and fractured process for the channel, with evidence of some partners leaving thousands of pounds, sometimes up to 50 per cent, in rebates on the table.

          This is exacerbated by the shift away from upfront hardware sales to software, cloud and annuity income, which itself is a significant hurdle to a traditional IT supplier. Instead of the customer buying thousands or even millions of pounds worth of hardware upfront, clients are demanding a pay-as-you-go model for their IT consumption.

          The benefits of the cloud to the customers are clear but the challenge to the partner to transition to a services-led business can be huge as they struggle to restructure their own sales and compensation models. Plus, rather than rewarding them as they once did for closing a sale, vendors are now increasingly compensating partners on renewal of business and ensuring clients take on all the features associated with a solution.

          Canalys says it believes partner programmes will continue to be vital to partners as they are fundamental to how they navigate relationships with vendors. It says, “the huge challenge is to keep programmes simple while our industry embraces complex new technologies,” adding that vendors must invest in stronger digital tools, including integrated automation and AI-enabled capabilities, to help reduce partners’ manual administration work.

          Peter added, "this is where we have been helping both resellers and vendors by providing both managed services and partner programme compliance tools to the channel to ensure partners achieve the maximum return from their investment in technology."

          Never has the channel been so competitive and had such a tough environment to operate. But as vendors evolve alongside their channel partners, automation such as this will be key to the success of the modern partner programme.

        • Stay up to date - Click here and register for FREE Channel Info online membership and enjoy unlimited access to a host of benefits including the exclusive members area of the website, downloadable business tools, current and back issues archive, priority breaking news alerts, weekly e news summary and the Channel Info app

        • Related Articles

        • Empowering the channel to make a success of cloud

          Empowering the channel to make a success of cloud

          Tuesday 23rd Apr 2019
          In the fast-paced world of the IT channel, choosing the right partner can make or break a business. According to Stuart Day, Director of Channel, iland a successful partnership should mean that customers benefit from outstanding technology, service, ...Read More...
          HSM’s truth about international security standards

          HSM’s truth about international security standards

          Thursday 18th Apr 2019
          Almost a year on from the introduction of GDPR, the number of home and office shredders sales has risen on a global scale. Yet, even those who are actively participating in new security procedures are still at risk, according to Mark Harper...Read More...
          Why MSPs need to collaborate to succeed

          Why MSPs need to collaborate to succeed

          Thursday 21st Mar 2019
          Managed services providers (MSPs) have had to evolve their business models over the years to get to where they are today. We’ve seen the shift from break/fix to more complete managed services, and most recently, the establishment of full-o...Read More...
                • About Us

                  Channel Info is the leading source of business news and information for the office dealer and reseller market. Our multi-platform approach delivers relevant, engaging and focussed content via our main printed magazine, supplements, website, digital editions, apps, newsletters and bespoke communications with an unrivalled reach across the industry. A highly trusted and respected brand for many years, the team behind Channel Info has over 60 years experience collectively in the office products, furniture, equipment and technology markets Channel Info continues to develop and adapt in order to meet the changing information needs of its readers.

                  For our latest Media packs and more details on our range of services click here

                • View Latest Issue