5 Channel Trends

SoftwareONE Unite 2020 Recap

5 Trends Impacting Channel Partners

5 Channel Trends in the Next 5 Months

For the first time we hosted it’s partner community in an all-digital event called SoftwareONE Unite 2020. This online experience delivered live and on-demand presentations from SoftwareONE executives, service owners and channel leaders. Neil Lomax, President at SoftwareONE, led the kickoff keynote with perspective on the role of the modern partner, channel trends, and the future of the partner post-pandemic.

The Ecosystem Warrior

Lomax set the stage for partners by addressing the critical role of serving two customers – the end user and publisher partners. The “ecosystem warrior” as he affectionately branded value-led partners is one that is able to navigate customer demands to deliver outcomes for their respective business.

Partnerships with leading technology firms are designed to solve customer challenges through unique solutions, IP and ongoing support. Those partners simply focused on driving transactional skus will struggle to maintain long-term customer relationships and find themselves dealing with compressed margins.

He also highlighted “5 Channel Trends in the Next 5 Months” referring to SoftwareONE’s global view across 90 countries and serving 65,000 customers via thousands of partners.

Customers will Choose Value and Flexibility over Price

This trend started earlier this year as customers found themselves concerned about how to get the right technology and advice in addition to how they are going to pay for the technology. The demand for payment terms and flexibility continues to be a high priority for most customers. There continues to be a shift to pay-as-you-go models and paying once the value has been delivered. It is our job to ensure customers understand their purchasing options along with supporting business models.

Transactional Business will be Differentiated by Advisory and Managed Services

We are now seeing an accelerated growth of services being bundled with the transactional business. Customers are looking to acquire solutions built with advisory and on-going services included. Partners can find differentiation through value-added services against traditional transactional competitors. While the mechanics of building a bundled offering may be challenging to initially execute, it will deliver a better customer outcome and long-term relationship.

Financial Discipline will be Required to Survive Long-term

The technology revolution of the last 10 years created an explosion of partners that operate on varying business models. With customers demanding more payment flexibility (i.e. monthly billing and payment terms), this puts additional pressure on partners that fail to execute good financial discipline. Partners that align their profitability models too closely to publisher incentives may find themselves in difficult financial positions when the program is reduced or removed completely. Partners must focus on the more predictable and sustainable margin programs with value-added services

The Second Wave of Business Failures will Come from Security Exposure

As customers have turned more of their attention to keeping their operations running and addressing work from home capabilities, we have found that has left many organizations vulnerable to security breaches. Businesses are now finding themselves at risk of compliance, governance and viral attacks due to the urgent rollout of new IT solutions in recent months. Failure to address these security exposures will potentially result in millions of lost revenue, loss in customer confidence and potentially catastrophic business failure.

Mega-Marketplaces will Arrive but so will Micro-Apps

While the traditional channel continues to grow, hyper-growth is currently being seen in the mega marketplaces run by large cloud platforms. The boom of micro-apps being offered in those marketplaces is remarkable with ease of procurement and deployment. The challenge for the customer is actually how they manage this emergence of new technology being deployed in their environment. Organizations may find themselves with governance, sovereignty, security, cost control and anti-trust issues without proper advisement. Once again, the ecosystem warrior plays a critical role in connecting the proper solutions to business outcomes.

SoftwareONE Unites Partners in Virtual Event

Watch the full presentation and other on-demand content from SoftwareONE’s Unite 2020 event. Contact us to learn more about how a partnership with SoftwareONE will help you build more long-term customer relationships.

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  • IT Market, Digital Transformation
  • ONEClub, event, Trends

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Christopher Rozzi

Senior Alliances Manager

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