There are so many business issues being touted as the next big thing to provide rapid change to the way IT is delivered. But there are three specific areas in need of improvement in the channel.
SaaS should be a focus, as should business analytics, and better management of vendor and partner relationships. These areas could greatly benefit from further thought to expand the reseller opportunities as well as helping VARs to differentiate themselves.
I am not convinced that resellers know how to approach SaaS. Deployments are often too services-led. Partners must address how they are being rewarded for their SaaS engagement.
This should encompass lead generation and any ongoing relationships with a customer, without the need for a standard licence and annual maintenance margin. Only then can channel partners hope to truly reap the benefits.
Further, I have witnessed an expanding community of developers of add-ons to business discovery software over the past few years. This is also an essential part of users taking more ownership of the data, tools and technologies at their disposal to explore and learn from it.
I would like to see the channel offering more support for this process, without needing to generate licence revenue.
My final suggestion is to concentrate harder on vendor and partner relationships. Any vendor with a growing partner channel should look carefully at how it builds its channel in order to maximise efficiency, and vice versa.
Too often, I find a large gap in the market between those vendors that manage partners internally and those with distribution solutions, which typically have thousands of product lines. There appears to be no obvious middle ground and few mid-size VADs to close this gap.
It would be good to see someone trying to fill this niche.
These three things would help resellers work better with vendors to develop the best opportunities for future success. There is a lot to be done but by focusing the mind, much can be achieved.
John Campbell is UK alliance director at QlikTech
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