Some resellers are continuing to sell hardware and make a business from it but increasingly the price pressure and slow demand from customers are forcing them to look for alternative sources of income.
As a result more are making the migration into delivering services and providing consultancy services around emerging technologies including the cloud.
The description of a changing channel landscape has emerged from market research carried out for Dell by Foster MacCallum International, which reveals there are new pressures resellers are having to face.
The survey of the market found that three quarters of resellers have noticed things changing in the SME market in recent years with sales dropping as a result of slow demand and increased sensitivity to pricing.
As a result more resellers are now making a shift towards offering services and consultancy support for customers.
"Ideas that have been adopted include a drive to intensify services provision, providing more consulting services and advice on innovative, cost-efficient technologies or moving towards managed services and outsourcing, especially where clients are thinking of moving to the cloud in order to save on infrastructure," it added.
There were still those resellers that regarded the traditional hardware business as being far from dead, something that those in a rush to services have perhaps overlooked.
"Many partners were positive that there will be a significant increase in consultancy and services in general although they also see that traditional hardware sales are far from being dead in the SMB market," stated the Foster MacCallum International report.
But the shift it clearly taking place and the channel is advised to take a balanced approach to meet the needs of their customers.
Renaud Marcadet, Dell EMEA medium business marketing director at Dell, said that the reseller would need to deliver a combination of services meeting the demands of both the old and the new technology requirements.
"The cloud in any case will not become the absolute answer to everything. Every time in IT there is something new, it is supposed to replace the existing solution. At the end of the day, we find it is a layer on top, not a replacement. So there are layers of old legacy, layers of client server, web applications and now cloud applications."
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