The veteran newsreader Martin Lewis who campaigned for more positive nightly bulletins would enjoy operating in the channel at the moment because there is plenty of good things to be said about the market.
It started in earnest last October with Steve Brazier, president and CEO of Canalys, using the analyst firm European event shindig to talk about the channel enjoying its best time for a decade.
That was followed up at the start of the year by a report from the Global technology Distribution Council (GTDC) which looked at the growth prospects for 2018 and stated that its membership was braced for growth.
In that vein the latest research from Citrix and Canalys should come as more evidence that this is a good time to be working in the indirect world.
Citrix wanted the analyst house to go out and get the pulse from the channel across Northern Europe. What came back was that 59% of respondents were expecting double digit growth this year.
That growth was going to come from a selection of areas including security, cloud applications and infrastructure as a service. Slightly over a third of those quizzed in the survey revealed they had taken on extra staff to support the sale of subscription-based services.
Three quarters said that managed services would be 'critical' to their revenue this year with most recognising that the way to do it is by working with a public cloud provider or third-party data centre, rather than trying to do that themselves.
“Today, businesses are embracing significant change to remain competitive. From new, disruptive players entering markets - armed with best-of-breed cloud software - to the incoming GDPR legislation, a number of factors are forcing significant numbers of organisations to evaluate their IT infrastructure and business models," said Justin Sutton-Parker, partner director, Northern Europe at Citrix.
“These industry changes appear to be encouraging increased dependence on the channel, with end-user customers relying on partners’ knowledge and expertise – especially in relation to cloud deployments. Alongside this, new technologies – such as analytics and artificial intelligence – are also set to play a bigger role for channel partners this year, as organisations seek to improve operational efficiencies and take their end-user customer experience to the next level," he added.
Alastair Edwards, chief analyst at Canalys, picked up on that complexity theme and said that customers were looking for support from resellers.
“As end-users adopt these complex technologies, the need for a highly-skilled, consultancy-led channel becomes even more critical. The challenge facing the channel is a shortage of critical skills, both from a technology and a business advisory point of view. Vendors that succeed will be those that enable their partners with the resources and support to capitalise on these massive emerging opportunities," he said.