If the channel's strength can be measured by the attitude of the big enterprise vendors, then it has perhaps never been in ruder health.
Dell is the obvious example of a traditionally direct-selling vendor that has recently woken up to the extra reach and skills the channel can offer. However, as this week's Infor partner summit demonstrated, there are a horde of other large manufacturers striving to grow channel as a percentage of their overall business.
Infor - which is now helmed by former Oracle boss Charles Phillips - is a classic enterprise vendor, drawing just 25 per cent of its $360m product sales from a channel of 1,200 partners globally.
Infor yesterday outlined plans to double its channel revenue over three years and is re-engineering its business to become more channel friendly. This includes introducing clear rules on which accounts its direct sales force can target, mandated by Phillips himself.
Its head of channels also assured me that partners are also no longer an afterthought when it comes to product launches - a common bugbear for resellers.
And despite its lack of brand power, Infor is no slouch with revenues of $1.8bn on the back of an acquisition spree that has taken in the likes of SSA and Systems Union. It already claims to be the world's third-largest enterprise software vendor - behind Oracle and SAP - but ahead of Sage. Its private equity backer's recent acquisition of Lawson will consolidate its bronze-medal position.
It is refreshing - particularly in today's climate - that yet another sizeable vendor has concluded the only way to scale its business quickly and forge ties with a wider range of mid-market customers is through the channel.
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