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2 minutes reading time (472 words)

Channel partners developing best practices for digital transformation

Digital transformation provides enormous opportunities for the channel partner, particularly the reseller community, that has been negatively impacted by the recent economic downshift. Although 71% of partners offer digital transformation solutions to their customers, only 10% help their customers integrate digitalized processes to deliver real digital transformation business outcomes. Channel partners focusing on a single type of product or service cannot act as trusted partners in digital transformation. Instead, they become suppliers to an ecosystem that other solution providers are tapping into as they work with customers to evolve digital transformation capabilities.

Digital transformation is demanding that channel partners develop extensive new capabilities and best practices. It also offers a means of establishing a business-level customer relationship to secure ongoing/escalating account revenue and influence, which will improve the business outlook (and enterprise value) of firms able to capitalize on customer need for digital transformation support.

Techaisle surveyed and studied channel partners globally to understand the best practices and critical competencies that channel partners are building to be more successful than others.

Channel partners that are coveting a digital transformation leadership role, and the business benefits that are associated with it, have several best practices in common:

  • They build, test, and evolve roadmaps that connect incremental technology investments with the additive benefits derived from digitization to digital transformation.
  • They are working with receptive customers to effectively show the advantages of digital transformation to business and IT management.
  • They are investing in the skills needed to deploy, connect, and optimize technologies essential to the digital transformation roadmap.
  • They are investing in relationships with technology vendors at the forefront of digital transformation – particularly those that provide foundation technologies and future work capabilities- and articulate strategies for engagement with leaders in advanced digital transformation technology niches.
  • They are developing an end-to-end capability by combining access to IT vendors with access to ecosystem partners who can provide complementary skills (consulting, architecture, deployment, maintenance, etc.) needed to create a whole solution.
  • They are developing and evolving customer KPIs – metrics that customers can use to measure business outcome benefits, a crucial point of connection for channel partners looking to position themselves as digital transformation providers.
  • They are working on an outcome-based revenue model. Customer payments are directly tied to outcome benefits or using consumption-based payment models. Both are longer-term objectives for most channel partners and are contingent on developing and testing KPIs. They are helping in de-risking accelerating customer investments, opening new opportunities.

The combination of product transactions, ongoing management services revenue, and tangible contribution to customer business success make digital transformation a compelling channel partner opportunity. Those that can develop the required skills, processes, and best practices will have a chance to reverse declines in impact and business value and establish their firms as viable long-term partners worthy of commitment from customers, suppliers, and strategic investors.

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