All posts by Tristan Penver

The IT Channel: An Evolving Environment

CONTEXT, a company which describes itself as ‘complete IT market tracking solutions across the whole supply chain’ recently conducted its ChannelWatch survey, which profiles the views, activities and intentions of a representative sample of 7500 resellers operating across Europe, Russia, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil.

The survey found that IT channel consolidation has increased, forcing distributors to focus on optimisation and leading resellers to worry about pricing and procurement costs.

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The Modern CIO: Agent of Change

In the modern tech-infused work environment, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is in the unenviable position of not only having to keep up with the latest technologies which affect the macroenvironment in which his company operates, but also implement them internally and keep an eye out for business threats (such as security issues, or more generally, obsolescence) and opportunities (such as more efficient software or infrastructure).

This is as true for channel businesses as for any other. CIOs of ICT channel businesses are (or at least should be) exposed to many of the technologies which run through the distribution chain of their company, and should be keeping an opportunistic/wary eye out for any new or trending technologies which could potentially be capitalized upon.

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A Platform Fix for the Flawed Channel Data Management Problem

A recent article on TechTarget’s Search IT Channel highlighted the fact that vendors might be overpaying their reseller and distributor partners because they can’t capture solid sales data.

According to the article, channel management software provider Zyme claimed that lack of accurate sales data meant several vendors were overpaying their channel partners by as much as 30%, particularly in rebate programs, price-protection programs, and deal registration or special price authorization programs. And according to Zyme, the problem falls on manufacturers that haven’t invested in a channel data management system.

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Gartner’s Trending Topics

Gartner is one of the world’s most respected technology research companies, and is at the forefront of predictions and trends happening across the global business environment.

So it’s interesting to note that on their homepage they have a list of ‘Trending Topics’; with Gartner being at the forefront of tech research, it’s natural to assume that these are some of the hottest topics in the business and technology industry at the moment.

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Digitalization and the Knock-On Effect of Customer Direct Fulfillment

The market force of digitalization has brought with it an incredible amount and variety of changes to almost all industries, revolutionizing operations and processes throughout. The IT channel industry is no different, and one of the changes wrought by digitalization is the new-found enablement of customers through direct-fulfillment models.

The distribution channel industry has traditionally been inextricably linked to the intermediaries within – vendors make their products available to distributors, who then pass said products on to resellers who ultimately make the products available to their end-user customers.

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The Challenges of Channel Change

As anyone who lived through 2016 will attest, there’s no doubt that the world is changing faster than ever before. Not only are tech changes reshaping our societies and cultures, but there is major uncertainty resulting from major geo-political events such as the Brexit vote and Trump ascending to the presidency.

Despite remaining seemingly immune to change for many years, the IT distribution channel is now finally starting to see the effects of changes which have already been shaking things up in the rest of the IT space for quite some time.

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