20% of channel partners are offering “digital transformation”, but most common is “digitalization” at 46% and balance 34% are still at the basic “digitization”. MSPs/SPs are the laggards and VARs/SIs the leaders. Among vendors, Dell & Cisco partners are leading the charge. The channel industry examined by Techaisle’s 2018 SMB/Midmarket focused channel research survey is very different from the community that existed a decade ago. Once a staid domain in which technologists provided IT infrastructure support to (mainly) local customers, the channel is being reshaped by five key issues in the face of digital transformation:
- Cloud, and its wrenching effect on all aspects of the channel business structure – only 69% of are partners selling cloud, out of which less than 2/3rd are successful
- Managed services efficiencies, especially vs. the pending opportunity associated with digital transformation – 77% are selling managed services but 50% are increasing on-site break-fix support
- Increasingly-complex data center technologies - there is a skills shortage in the SMB channel
- Orchestration & integration demands that are expanding in multiple directions – cloud orchestration expected to be a high-revenue growth area for only 23% of partners
- The need to sell on and deliver to business outcomes rather than technical outcomes
The data in the report illustrates the extent to which these factors are affecting channel management decisions today and influencing the future directions. The report covers:
- What is the state of channel?
- What does the channel offer?
- Where does the channel land on digital transformation, orchestration & integration?
- What does the channel want from vendors & distributors?
- How does the channel sell?
- What is channel doing in the cloud?
- What is channel doing in managed services?
- What data center solutions is the channel selling?
With digital transformation as the backdrop, let us look at a summary of the five issues highlighted above: