Four hot survival tips for channel partners

By Arun Shankar   19 October, 2017
Four hot survival tips for channel partners

Osama AlHaj-Issa is Regional Channel Director, Middle East and Turkey at Aruba HPE.

Channel partners need to align with vendors that have high business growth potential, provide healthy margins and have cutting edge technology. Here are some survival tips for channel partners in the face of present day challenges:

#1 Do not hold back investments

Channel Partners must be optimistic about the future, despite political uncertainty in some countries in the Middle East. The Middle East in particular has a higher percentage of youth and so mobility is a necessity for the new workforce and the young society that it represents. Mobility is a big trend that is sweeping the Middle East and despite political uncertainty in some countries, the demand for mobility will only increase.

#2 New technology first mover advantage

Channel partners that develop early capabilities in new technologies will be the ones that will be most successful. For example, in the mobility domain, Mobility Engagement solution for public-facing enterprises is a revolutionary technology. This is a technology that every enterprise that serves public in one way or another has endorsed immediately and requested to test in their premises.

Mobility Engagement solution is comprised of several components such as way finding solution, mobility analytical engine, and targeted advertising system. Customers such as hospitals, large educational institutes, malls, airports, stadiums and similar organizations need this solution to enhance customer service, satisfaction and loyalty. Mobility Engagement technology has huge revenue generation potential if utilized well.

The cloud is also a big trend that is accelerating. The channel will need to be able to implement cloud based solutions in public, private and hybrid cloud infrastructure modes to meet the varying needs of customers.

IoT is another trend that is gaining momentum. The channel should build competencies in IoT analytics and trend analysis solutions and securing IoT based devices at the network edge.

#3 Marketing mission critical for success

Marketing has been elevated to a mission-critical status for channel partners and the vendors they represent. To survive and thrive, channel partners must effectively implement marketing using a variety of tightly integrated outbound and inbound marketing tactics, all focused on building awareness and generating sales leads. Channel partners should reconsider marketing and primarily there are four reasons for that.

  • First, sourcing or selection of IT related products or services has shifted.
  • Second, competition has intensified. Now channel partners face greater competition from local, regional, national, on-line and non-traditional competitors.
  • Third, marketing has changed dramatically. The modern marketing mix focuses on search authority, thought leadership and lead generation, and importantly, is delivering dramatic and measurable results.
  • Fourth, historically channel partners tend to spend less time, effort, resources and investment in marketing than other industries. But for the factors above, now must make marketing a higher priority, or risk failure.

#4 Successful vendor partnerships

Understanding customer needs and working closely with vendor partners’ sales and engineering team to build the best solution to match or exceed these needs means getting the business closer to them. Readiness and early engagement are the two basic components for a successful partnership. This ensures customers of high quality delivery of the proposed solution and services. It also maximizes channel margin since services usually bring bigger margins to our partners.

One of the biggest challenges facing the channel today is managing cash flows and receivables since it impacts working capital. This calls for most effective financial planning and management and organizations that are able to do so will eventually succeed.

Veteran channel builder, Osama AlHaj-Issa at Aruba HPE, deep dives into four survival tips for channel partners.

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