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Channel open to more collaboration

A significant number of resellers are happy to work with other partners to make sure they avoid skill gaps and meet customer demands

A significant number of resellers are open to the idea of collaboration with other firms to make sure they can gain access to the latest skills.

Research from IT services player Agilitas has found that two thirds of those resellers it spoke to are keen to work with new companies in the next couple of years.

The Channel in 2020 research found that one of the main reasons for partnerships being struck up were to increase cost efficiency and to plug skills gaps.

That potentially means a quarter of business revenue could come through collaboration efforts and underlines just how important a channel ecosystem is becoming.

“Forming technical and training partnerships with other channel companies can prove cost-effective, while helping to overcome various challenges, such as the skills gap. I’m confident that in the next few years, the number of collaborative partnerships will only grow as the need to meet the exacting requirements of the end-user, in an increasingly customer-centric environment, becomes ever more crucial,” said Shaun Lynn, CEO of Agilitas.

Having highlighted the positive growth in collaboration there are still some issues with resellers not revealing that some of the skills and services are being offered by other providers.

“It may seem unusual that only a quarter of IT channel companies disclose to their customers that some of their services are outsourced, especially in an era where collaboration is financially and strategically crucial,” said Lynn.

“We understand that there may be some scepticism from a business that doesn’t want to disclose that it cannot a provide a secondary service in-house. However, it’s always best for companies to focus on developing their core skills, as trying to develop in areas where its experience is limited can prove expensive and time-consuming. Ultimately, a strong channel partnership will always prove more beneficial for the end-user customer," he added.

Vendors are also encouraging the development of strong channel ecosystems in response to growing demands from customers for solution selling.

Some of the motivation for encouraging collaboration is not only to make sure the skill gaps are covered but to ensure that new entrants are also covered.

Speaking to MicroScope last year, Diego Segre, vice president, business partners - ‎IBM Europe, said that it was extending its channel coverage, "to enable the new breed of partners and to work in new industries and ecosystems".

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