The rise of ‘reseller 4.0’

Despite the trends and pressures on the channel, the traditional resale model is not dead.

That’s was the message from the Canalys EMEA Forum this week.

However, the reseller of the future is going to look very different, noted Canalys principal analyst Alastair Edwards. In fact, he listed five key characteristics which will define the modern channel partner, or what Canalys calls ‘reseller 4.0’. How many of these are you applying to your own business?

1.   A range of buying options

The first is offering a range of buying options from upfront purchase to as-a-service, said Edwards. “Every customer is going to have different needs, and every customer is going to look for flexibility from their IT supplier.”

2.   Monitoring and managing capabilities

Alastair said managed services is one of the biggest growth opportunities ahead for the channel.

“We’re seeing strong double digit growth in managed services. Your customers face ever greater IT complexity, especially those in SMB and midmarket, are going to turn to partners who have visibility into their IT estates. They can provide them with insights to make business decisions, to control things like cybersecurity applications and cloud.”

But that role as an MSP is based on trust, and the strength of your relationship with customers, he said.

“That’s still going to mean that personal contact is important. This has to be tied to your ability to offer customer engagement resources.”

This could be everything from consulting and professional services through to customer success teams for managing customers through their lifecycle investments.

3.   Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics is underpinning the most successful partners’ own businesses, said Alastair.

“They’re applying predictive analytics as they leverage customer data to help plan for refresh cycles or identify new service and solution opportunities.”

4.   Next generation e-commerce capabilities

“We see e-commerce capabilities as part of the next generation digital sales models. Partners who invest in those e commerce capabilities are going to be ahead,” he said.

5.   Sustainability running through every offer

“Sustainability needs to run through every offering every service you do,” said Alastair.

“The environmental accountability of IT investments is going to be one of your customers’ top priorities, alongside cybersecurity, when in the next two to three years. This is also going to be one of the most important drivers of it as a service, beyond the shift to OPEX, because customers want to ensure the accountability, and the visibility into their IT investments. So being able to position sustainability as a part of your IT-as-a service offers is going to be key to your resale success.”

I’m sure you’ll agree, these points are really interesting, and if you’d like to read more, Alastair goes into greater detail about the five key trends that will influence channel models as we head into this post pandemic world, here.

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