To tackle the big technological issues that society is facing, innovation is key. Vendors can provide the tools for innovation, but it’s partners who are going to offer the solutions which revolutionise our world. This is according to Nick Watson, VP EMEA, Ruckus Networks. Here he discusses why vendors need to invigorate partners, not hold them back.
Find your technology bite
End customers are demanding that partners be experts in next generation technology, and they want solutions now. The channel can leverage vendor knowledge of verticals to build and offer cutting edge solutions. Partners can then become experts in the best way to apply these technologies to a specific niche, differentiate themselves, and develop superior solutions with high profitability.
Specialisation allows partners of all sizes to compete against more general, typically larger, and less dynamic competition. It also enables them to best understand how to integrate next generation technologies as part of complete solutions that meet the demands of end-customers. The industry has just experienced one of the biggest transitions in its history with the move to cloud, but, already, customer demands are changing again, particularly towards IoT, and vendors cannot let their partners down.
Be your Partner’s best friend
Partners and vendors should be working together in the technology ecosystem. Partners should be innovating with their suppliers, not competing with them for contracts and projects. For vendors, this competition potentially risks channel investment and commitment to your products. Key to this is letting them compete on value not price. Let’s make life easier for our partners.
This simple approach needs to filter through to how we educate and train partners too. Selling technology in a new world of IoT or artificial intelligence isn’t an easy task. The challenge for vendors is to help partners cut through this noisy market, invest strategically in channel marketing, provide the training partners need and help them get to market so they can get on with the job of building better solutions.
Simplify to enable and succeed
A synergy between vendors and the channel is what makes innovation work. When it comes to channel programmes, it’s about taking what works, and changing what doesn’t.
There is no doubt that vendors need to make the channel simpler, for the benefit of everyone involved. Fewer classifications coupled with accessible information and resources gives partners a more meaningful place in the program and a simplified pathway to success.
Moreover, by providing support, investing in the channel, allowing partners a sensible transition timeframe and being sensitive to the differences between mature and developing markets, vendors enable partners to become the most successful businesses they can be. This is further aided by specialising in key verticals. Partners can become industry leaders in niche markets where they can differentiate with technological superiority and expertise, whilst vendors can maximise this advantage with greater brand awareness and investment in lead generation.