Imagine a world where your sales force receives real-time customer opportunities derived from your own data, where opportunities that improve your top and bottom line also lead to new service and product business, improved renewal rates and deeper insight into customer estates.
It could be argued that it is the channel itself that could benefit a lot more from business analytics, given their varied (and traditionally spreadsheet-based) new business, renewal management and customer asset management.
Many asset management offerings remain siloed – contracts managed in one system, renewals in another and procurement in another. Moreover, the channel is very much focused on transactional business.
But what if you had end-to-end estate management, with intelligent data mining and a single view of your and your customers' estates, across contracts, renewals and the installed base?
When transactional data is brought together with historical trends – new sales with renewals, sales-out data with vendor cross-sell and up-sell rules – new insights and opportunities can appear by connecting information from across the supply chain.
This means, I think, making use of configuration management databases and IT asset management (ITAM) tools and processes.
Estate management differs from pure ITAM because it involves all the stakeholders in the channel – reseller, vendor, distributor and ultimately the end customer.
Some key players are already doing this. So if you don't, they may eat from your table. Also, your data is a differentiator in itself, offering more value to customers, and it can also help you move away from a commodity play.
Channel partners could also team up to share data and intelligence, entering new markets. Market conditions overall continue to be tough and being able to identify new opportunities from data you already have is surely of value.
Simon Ellis is EMEA director and business unit head of estate management solutions at Avnet
Outsourcer says the size of the operation should be considered before criticising the error that affected 43,000 women
Vendor says a range of its products will be made SD-WAN compatible, with traditional networking 'completely under disruption'
With just a day to go until the 25th annual Channel Awards, we catch up with the SMB Reseller of the Year category sponsor Exertis, to find out why the sector is such a vital part of its business strategy
Analyst predicts spending on Robotic Process Automation will rise XX per cent next year, driven by price decreases