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Developing strong channel ecosystems in APAC region

Developing strong channel ecosystems in APAC region

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Looking to expand its management consulting and advisory services to the channel and partner ecosystem in Asia Pacific (APAC), Australia-based Levels Ventures is looking to cement its footprint in this broad region. Maury G, Managing Partner, Levels Ventures, tells Intelligent Tech Channels how the company is engaging with channel partners, distributors and vendors, and why it’s cementing its footprint in the APAC market.

Maury G, Managing Partner, Levels Ventures.

What is Levels Ventures and when was it founded?

Levels Ventures with its headquarters in Australia and another office in Hong Kong, is a management consulting and advisory firm that was established in 2015. The firm serves the channel and partners ecosystem comprising [channel partners, system integrators, MSPs, MSSPs, and Cloud Service Providers (CSPs)] across the world with special focus on the APAC region. The firm is 100% focused on the technology sector, particularly on the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), cloud partners and cybersecurity channel partners, and manages security service providers (MSSPs).

IT Sector Consulting: is where the company helps IT channel partners and distributors to define the right go-to-market strategy and to enhance their channel reach in an existing market or identifying new distributors or partners when opening new markets. More services are offered to channel partners for example, vendor alignment, pricing strategy, lead generation, B2B social selling and more.

Our consulting services to the channel and partner ecosystem in Asia Pacific includes growth assessment consulting (GAC), lead generation, vendor alignments, and more. In addition, we help in analysing the reseller team as part of the growth assessment process (GAP). Our target channel audience in Asia Pacific includes managed security service providers (MSSPs), systems integrators, managed service providers (MSPs) and value-added resellers (VARs).

Our goal in this is to make sure that the brand-new partners, growth stage or struggling partners can get our help in aligning their efforts to make sure that they utilise every resource they must accelerate their revenue growth and build strong relationship with their key vendors and distributors.

The company’s current motto More Leads, More Often” is the approach we have or our engagement with MSPs, CSPs, and MSSPs where we guide them through our consulting and the best tools we have in order to help them identify their ideal client persona, pursue them and connect with customers in person or online using the best-in-class software tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

How is Levels Ventures working with the channel in the APAC region?

We have identified a few gaps in the APAC market when it comes to the channel. Our managing partner has more 15 years of working relationship with the channel ecosystem in Middle East, Africa, Central East Europe, Russia and the CIS, so it was easy for us as a company to leverage on that and start to partner with key players in the APAC market. Right now, we are engaged in helping the IT channel partners and systems integrators (SIs) in key markets in the APAC geography. We are also working with a key Disaster Recovery vendor and Fortune 100 cybersecurity vendor to enable their channels to do a better job in this wider market.

Why is the APAC market important for Levels Ventures to develop its business and presence?

This specific region is very interesting for us since it is the heart of the broader APAC, Southeast Asia and Japan markets. The region has a lot of countries and the rest of Asia’s emerging markets with more than 30 markets, which rely on the indirect channels and this is where we can help and add value, more especially for the enterprise B2B.

What channel services, business development and consultancy is Levels Ventures offering channel stakeholders and why should partners in APAC work with your company?

The services we provide for the channel ecosystem can be divided into three areas:

  • For channel partners, we help them with the following: Improving their customer experience, improving the proactive sales approach, accelerating revenue cycle, better alignment when it comes to the vendor portfolio they are working with, enhancing their pricing strategy and expansion plans assessment
  • On the IT distributor front, we focus on improving the performance of their least performing channel partners to make sure that they leverage the best out of the channel partners they serve, hence improve their customer experience. In addition, we assist in building simple and effective partner programmes that guarantee their reseller partners’ loyalty, improve partner and IT reseller recruitment process and improve their enterprise social presence
  • For vendors, our focus is concentrated on improving channel and distributor experience, transforming mid-market channels revenue and lead generation from being reactive to proactive behaviour

We also help to provide consistent channel improvement consulting and implementing best-in-class practices to their channels to make sure that they are helping channel partners in their market expansion.

What type of IT distributors and channel partners is Levels Ventures looking to work with?

Because every channel partner and every distributor can benefit from our consulting practice, we try and work with a broad array of channel partners. However, we prioritise working with enterprise B2B channel partners and distributors that are either servicing a new market, onboarding a new vendor,

building a new partner programme or assist partners that are struggling with their revenue and profitability.

What challenges are channel partners in Asia Pacific telling you they are finding in the current business climate?

We have been exploring the APAC market for a while and have identified many challenges some of them include channel partners not having sales and marketing teams, sales and marketing not aligned with their business goals, lacking tools to transform the whole sales and service processes and a lack at driving more revenue from existing clients (upselling and reselling).

Which countries in APAC are you targeting this year and why?

We are targeting Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and Thailand as our tier one focus in the APAC market because of the number of local channel partners that are transforming their business model from IT Consulting or traditional reseller to MSP or MSSP in these five markets. The rest of the region and markets come in as our tier two focus. Both tiers are equally important to us, but we have started to identify key vendors, IT distributors and channel partners to work with in 2022.

Looking ahead, what is Levels Ventures’ plans in the year ahead?

Our plans for 2022 is to empower as much as we can from channel partners so that they can deliver better customer experiences to their clients in the wider APAC region.

Our message for the year ahead is “Power to the channel” as we believe now that key local IT channel partners are getting more attention from vendors who want to enter new markets or want to work with key clients in this region.

What business development initiatives and plans are in the offing for Levels Ventures post COVID-19 in APAC?

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted a lot of businesses across the whole world. We saw that there is a part that we can play to help the channel ecosystem, so we offered and are still offering 10 free hours with 10 IT channel partners to explore growth areas and direct them on the right path. We have also been conducting a monthly webinar where we bring channel experts to advise and share their success and failures in responding to the COVID-19 impact on their business. Through the “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) sessions, we conduct on a weekly basis, we give room to channel partners in the APAC market to share their challenges with us and we share our experience with them.

What channel programmes and initiatives Levels Ventures planning for its channel partners in the APAC region in 2022?

We are launching the “Catalyst” Programme, which includes a lot of support to the channel partners. The programme focuses mainly on the assessment of the channel partner’s health and helps in transforming the way they generate leads in a better and faster approach.

Two modules are there in the Catalyst Programme which include assessment, a very professional and structured process that is conducted by our consultants and measures the health of the channel partner with a weighted score from gathering 50 check points across the main business areas such as sales, marketing, product, pricing, team and competitive landscape.

We help them with the execution and execute with their internal resources or implement it with a third party. We have seen a lot of demand in recent quarters from vendors and distributors who are seeking our engagement to activate and retain most of their tier two and tier three partners and we are glad that we are able to help in working with our clients in increasing their market share and accelerating their time to market.

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