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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How ChannelCenter Uses AWS Cloud Technology

As many people within the technology scene will know, where a data center is hosted impacts upon the speed of the website for users from different locations of the globe. Since data transfers are constrained by the laws of physics, the distance that the data must travel is important when calculating data transfer speeds.

365datacenters.com puts it clearly: “While advances in networking technology have allowed data centers to use more efficient high-traffic routers and fiber optic cables, the reality is that data packets are still constrained by the speed of light (or worse, the speed of electricity for those that use copper cables), making distance a significant factor for ultimately determining data transfer speeds.”

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WannaCry and ChannelCenter’s Security Vendor Integrations, Bitdefender and Kaspersky

The recent WannaCry ransomware sent the world into a panic, starting on Friday 12 May 2017 and infecting more than 230 000 computers in 150 countries, with the software demanding ransom payments in bitcoin in 28 languages.

Thanks to web security researcher ‘MalwareTech‘ finding a kill switch and registering a website that was mentioned in the code of the ransomware, the spread of infection slowed and has subsequently been brought under control, as Microsoft rushed to patch an existing security vulnerability as well.

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Cybersecurity, One of the Channel’s Hottest Sectors

Cybersecurity has played an increasingly important role in the IT landscape in recent years, and has become a constant theme in the lives of both individuals and businesses. Due to technology changing at an astounding rate, threats are evolving rapidly too – with cybercriminals finding new and creative ways to exploit users and technology all the time.

Whereas only a few years ago, security was a fringe issue with not much strategic business importance, it is now viewed as a central part of business strategy due to the massive potential damage which data breaches can incur on a business’ operations and reputation.

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Dashboards: Making Data Analysis and Interpretation Easy

One of the key aspects to the ChannelCenter platform is undoubtedly the information dashboards which are found throughout the system – upon logging in, the user is immediately greeted with a homepage dashboard providing a high-level overview of important business statistics from within the system.

Dashboards are a very useful way to provide at-a-glance views of KPIs (key performance indicators) relevant to a particular objective or business process such as sales, marketing or production. Digital dashboards offer a consolidated view across the organization or platform regardless of where the data lives, thus providing a “snapshot” of performance, and allowing users to gauge how well the organization is doing on that particular measure.

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The ChannelCenter Messaging Framework

ChannelCenter processes many thousands of instructions every day from many different function centers within the system. Resellers place orders which become visible and are automatically allocated on vendor and distributor dashboards. Quotes feed into orders, and orders feed into stock. Credit is allocated and payments are processed.

But how does all this messaging work? How is ChannelCenter able to process all these instructions and get a reseller’s system to ‘talk’ to a vendor’s system when they don’t speak the same (computer) language?

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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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Cloud: Even Your End-User Wants It

There’s no doubt that possibly the biggest transformative factor in the IT channel of the last few years has been the migration to cloud.

In a report released in September 2016, research firm Gartner revealed that the worldwide public cloud services market was projected to grow 17.2 percent in 2016 to total $208.6 billion, up from $178 billion in 2015. The highest growth will come from cloud system infrastructure services (infrastructure as a service [IaaS]), which was projected to grow 42.8 percent in 2016. Cloud application services (software as a service [SaaS]), one of the largest segments in the global cloud services market, was expected to grow 21.7 percent in 2016 to reach $38.9 billion.

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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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Re-Imagining the Channel

Innovation. 

It’s a word which is bandied about frequently these days.

Overused perhaps.

In the case of ChannelCenter though, it’s perhaps appropriate. With the ICT distribution channel coming under pressure from multiple angles including the rise of cloud, digitalization, increased competition and smaller margins, channel businesses need to be more competitive than ever.

ChannelCenter is truly innovative in that it utilizes technological innovation to bring a fresh outlook and business paradigm to the distribution environment. ChannelCenter has conceptualized, developed and perfected a digital platform which integrates the sales, operations and financial functions throughout the channel.

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