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How will the role of the reseller change within the next five years in the vendor partner ecosystem?

How will the role of the reseller change within the next five years in the vendor partner ecosystem?

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Alison Hastings, UK&I Channel Lead at Avaya, explains how she thinks the reseller’s role will change within the next five years.

Though offices across the world have gradually been re-opening as COVID-19 lockdown measures ease, many organisations are still hesitant to stray from remote working – and why should they, when it keeps their employees safe and has proven to be so effective? With the help of efficient communications and collaborations tools, remote working has been a success for many organisations during the lockdown period and employees have managed to maintain, if not improve, their productivity levels.

This shift towards remote working will be a permanent change, and in turn means that organisations will need flexibility, agility and speed to stay competitive. With employees constantly on-the-go and working from many different locations, organisations must ensure they can adapt to any sudden changes and communicate, no matter where their teams are or what devices they are using. This has made the need for cloud-based, Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) platforms non-negotiable.

To meet these new business needs, it is clear that resellers will need to change their strategy – currently, indirect sales for SaaS are below 30%, and even major SaaS leaders such as Salesforce have had to shut down their reseller programme. Subscription sales, however, are understandably thriving – no two organisations will have the exact same needs and no cloud migration journey is the same, therefore it’s important to provide customers with flexible choices. By following this subscription model, resellers are empowered to provide customers with every option available to meet their various, unique cloud requirements; ultimately helping them to gain market share and drive revenue.

When it comes to cloud SaaS solutions nowadays, many vendors also directly provide the end-customer with the specialist support and expertise needed to manage service deployment. This means that resellers no longer have to invest extensive amounts of time into becoming solutions specialists themselves – the vendor handles the entire process for them. With this minimal investment, the role of the reseller pivots from being an installer and interpreter of the technology to being a recruiter – armed with more time, resellers can refocus their efforts on identifying other sales agents to help sell these solutions; ultimately accelerating customers’ journey to the cloud quickly and efficiently.

By referring and signing up other agents, who in turn help to drive further cloud subscription sales, resellers are not only able to target new customer segments, but also increase their own recurring revenue.

As remote working becomes our new normal, cloud-based UCaaS solutions will be vital to enabling agile, seamless communications in a distributed workforce. Every organisation’s journey to the cloud will be different, and it will be the resellers’ role to help them complete that journey as quickly as possible. By offering a flexible subscription model to accommodate these unique needs, and by partnering with a provider who can provide direct solutions support, resellers can focus on what they do best: selling.

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