The channel landscape has undergone tremendous changes. Changes from “Second Platform” to “Third Platform” stage of IT is leaving businesses who rely on traditional IT infrastructure behind. Businesses who have invested in the Second Platform will continue to see growth from 2018 to 2012. However, according to Andrea Miner, Tech Data’s director of business intelligence, businesses who embrace the Third Platform are expected to continue to see large growth in revenue. Therefore, businesses who realize the importance of the evolving landscape are finding themselves revisiting their Channel Program Strategy.
However, vendors hoping to quickly adapt to these changes are realizing it takes more than a few simple program modifications. In order to address the needs of the channel, vendors must take a closer look at their channel programs. At the same time, vendors need to carefully articulate the requirements to support, reach, and capitalize on new market opportunities. Miner recommends that vendors focus less on broad-technology and more on a specialized long-term relationship with their partners.
While a majority of small and mid-market businesses have the same goals as a large business, they are still slow to adopt. This means that vendors must take a different approach to reach these companies than their enterprise counterparts. The new approach would entail the development of a cohesive and focused channel program strategy while providing the appropriate partner support infrastructure that can accommodate this type of market opportunity.
Adapting your Channel Program Strategy
The ultimate goal of a vendor’s channel program strategy is to motivate partners to sell the vendor’s products or services. For obvious reasons, smaller channel partners typically cannot afford to invest in programs designed for the larger partners targeting the enterprise market. Smaller partners require simpler and more budget-friendly programs.
This platform focuses on client/server business with Ethernet the primary connectivity solution and PC workstations the primary user device.
This platform is characterized by a shift to cloud computing, wireless networking, ubiquitous user access to IT resources, and the Internet of Things.
Smaller partners need programs that offer key support for:
- pre and post-sales
- sales training
- business plans
- prioritized deals
These partners need help understanding the importance and functionality of the newest trends. Vendors and solution providers need to help partners realize how the channel is changing.
Regardless of what the future has in store for the channel, businesses need to adapt to the changes that lie in their path.