he channel has been under pressure in
2018 as a result of slow economic growth
and businesses consolidating their assets,
reducing their costs and in some instances going
directly to suppliers.
But what does 2019 have in store for channel
partners, where are the opportunities and how
can they increase their margins? There is no doubt
that channel partners must evolve and adopt new
strategies to remain relevant in an increasingly
competitive market place.
The channel’s evolution has to come from
within the sales teams and involves a shift from
product to solutions selling. Channel partners
who continue to drop technology at customers
will increasingly find their margins declining and
There is no doubt that
channel partners must
evolve and adopt new
strategies to remain
relevant in an increasingly
competitive market place.
CRAIG FREER, EXECUTIVE HEAD: CLOUD AT VOX
CHANNEL IS LIKELY
TO SEE IN 2019
have customers looking elsewhere for value-based service
offerings. The evolution is about being close to customers,
having the ability to unpack opportunities with them, training
and investing in people and making sure customer service is
at the heart of everything you do.
The old model of taking a product and dropping it is dying.
Channel partners who still subscribe to this way of servicing
customers are going to lose their relevance very quickly.
However, were they in a position where they were adding
significant value, helping to define strategy and selling a
solution rather than a product, they would be flourishing.
Evolving from a box dropper to a trusted adviser means
that you are entrenched in your customers’ businesses, your
lifetime value is higher and you are defining your customers’
IT strategies. The opportunity in this approach is the ability to
build wealth and long-lasting customer relationships. We are
certainly driving this strategy in our business and any person in
sales worth his or her salt has to evolve into a trusted adviser.
What are the opportunities that 2019 holds? Microsoft
Azure’s investment in the country is a game changer for the
channel. The value proposition of Office 365 and Exchange
Online is top of mind for businesses big and small, and
discussions are being had with them regarding their rapid
adoption of cloud applications.
Resellers will differentiate themselves in terms of the value
they bring to customers, such as their ability to consult, apply
a level of managed services, their capability to drive effective
migrations to Azure and the investments they make in the
development of their people.
A channel business is no different to any other business; if
you are not delivering value you are going to be left behind.