Over the last six months the IT industry has slowed down in terms of overall sales volumes and sales cycle.
Some channel partners have identified new market drivers and, indeed, exploited this situation. Some have achieved double-digit revenue growth in specific product lines during the past year, precisely because of the increased life cycle of other software and hardware.
As recently as January we found it tough to recruit new resellers, as many were consolidating their portfolios. In April, however, we noticed a change in this behaviour.
Two factors were important. Resellers firstly began to recognise counter-cyclical opportunities including products that extend the lifecycle and usability of systems, as well as plug-ins that achieve this.
Also, vendors are responding to channel pain points and new opportunities.
The plug-ins we incorporated into our WhatsUp Gold product family were about adding robustness and longevity to the core product, to take advantage of buyers’ more restricted resources.
The trend towards virtualisation continues to provide further opportunities to resellers. The implications of virtualisation for IT managers still haven’t filtered through, and many are still struggling to optimise the operation of their systems.
Resellers have had to address customers’ specific pain points, such as labour
costs and the costs of system downtime when offering plug-in capabilities such
as mobile access.
Vendors will have to continue to address specific pain points for customers and make the lives of resellers easier.
This does not mean that we have seen resellers reduced to selling plug-ins. New customers continue to be attracted to products that will help them get the best out of existing or organically changing IT systems.
Vendors who can point to low and predictable total costs of ownership, as well as low up-front costs, have an advantage.
Mike Silva is EMEA network management division sales director at Ipswitch
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