With so much consolidation going on in the IT industry and increased competitiveness for fewer contracts, many channel partners feel like small fish in a big pond and are finding it harder and harder to survive, let alone get noticed.
SMEs are being pushed out of government contracts with recent news reports showing that 80% of government IT projects only use 18 suppliers, as well as the fact that IT projects are argued to be an "obscene" waste of money. They're also forced into price wars in order to bring in revenue, lowering prices that squeeze already tight margins.
However we're starting to see smaller channel partners managing to buck this trend by specialising in certain vertical sectors and working closely with specific technology partners to sell into these markets. For example, as a networking solutions manufacturer we've developed many strategic partnerships with distributors and resellers this year to target vertical sectors such as education.
Being a small fish in a big pond isn't a weakness if you're able to differentiate yourself and move into new areas with confidence and proven expertise.
Melvyn Wray is senior vice president of producting marketing, EMEA, at Allied Telesis
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