Bits and Splits - stock.adobe.co
Even with a global pandemic still playing out and teething problems from Brexit having an impact on goods crossing borders, the channel remains optimistic about the year ahead.
Strong sales in 2020 and signs that the momentum has kept going into the first couple of months of this year have underlined the decent prospects for the rest of 2021. Many are expecting the impact of the vaccine to spur a boom in the economy that the channel can use to its advantage.
Nuvias Group has carried out its own research to get a handle on what’s happening in the partner base, and revealed that the majority of channel players it quizzed expect significant growth this year.
Cyber security has been highlighted by the channel as one of the key drivers of spending, and healthcare is the largest vertical opportunity.
When it came to growth, 63% of respondents expected more than 5% in the year ahead, with 43% looking for more than a 10% improvement.
However, these revenue improvements are not a given, and the channel shared several challenges with Nuvias, including expanding the customer base as the top concern, along with competitive bidding.
Nuvias found that, as a result of the problems with building the customer base, channel partners are looking for more sales and marketing support from the distributor.
“We share our partners’ positive outlook for 2021. Our industry has shown resiliency in 2020 – and with adversity, comes opportunity,” said Gordon Lyon, customer director for UK and Ireland at Nuvias Group.
The distributor finds itself able to ride the cyber security wave thanks to its investments in that area. Its research found that 82% of respondents saw cyber security as offering the biggest opportunity. A shift to remote working and a well-documented rise in the activity of cyber criminals has accelerated investments by customers.
“It is rewarding to see enthusiasm for the cyber security sector, as we have made significant investments in both personnel and value-added services in this area in 2020 and will continue to do so in 2021. We mirror the feedback of our customers in relation to cloud security, which we also see as a key focus area for 2021,” said Lyon.
Perhaps not surprisingly, given its role in helping fight the coronavirus pandemic, the healthcare sector was seen by the channel as the more interesting vertical from an opportunity point of view.
Pressure across the board for healthcare providers to increase digital services was largely behind the feeling that this would remain a profitable sector. The channel is also looking at finance and other public sector customers as places where growth should be found.
Nuvias also used the research to reveal what partners wanted from distribution, and it confirmed that increased levels of support were key, particularly at a time when gaining new logos was difficult because of lockdown restrictions.
“In line with partners’ need to grow their customer base, we have invested in dynamic business intelligence and reseller acceleration platforms, to help our partners drive more opportunity. Our priority remains to keep collaboration tight with partners as our collective intelligence will help us deliver to fast-changing customer needs,” said Lyon.