One quarter into 2022 and the channel is feeling positive about life, but there are mixed responses to the emergence of hybrid working.
Nuvias’s latest UK channel partner survey has taken the temperature of the channel, with it clear that many are wrestling with hybrid working and trying to get the balance right with face-to-face interactions.
Most partners expect the growth that they experienced last year to continue, with 75% experiencing growth between 2-10% last year, and 62% expecting that to be the same again this year.
Cyber security was seen as the biggest growth prospect, with the need for compliance continuing to drive investments. Demand for network visibility tools was also high on the list of areas where the channel could make some revenues in 2022.
If there was broad agreement about the growth prospects, matters became more fragmented when the channel was quizzed on hybrid working. There were two camps – one accepting that remote working had increased productivity and helped strategic thinking; while the other, which was smaller, expressed their views that working remotely had made running the business more difficult.
The negatives around hybrid working included working longer hours, struggling to see customers and colleagues. Nuvias suggested that the different responses could be linked to generational divides and job categories.
The channel has not be alone in recording varied responses to hybrid working, and most customers are going through the same process of trying to strike a balance between the demand for flexibility and the need for some face-to-face interaction.
“2021 was always going to be a challenging year with the global pandemic, but we pulled together and made the most of our joint opportunities,” said Lee Driscoll, UK managing director and vice-president of South Europe at the Nuvias Group.
“It’s fantastic to see there was still strong growth over the past year. We have seen customers demand for cyber security rise and we have strengthened our portfolio accordingly. It was not a surprise to see the rise of network visibility as a new top category, in view of the need to manage extended networks,” he added.
Nuvias also asked resellers what they wanted from distribution. Among the answers was a call for ongoing marketing and sales support, help with lead generation, and keeping supply chains running as smoothly as possible.
Channel partners were looking for support in a post-pandemic world as they reacted to a customer landscape that is adjusting to two years of Covid and opening up to hybrid working and running more distributed networks with a greater need for security.
“Our priority is to support partners in sustaining their revenue stream and business model in a changing landscape, by adjusting to new customer needs and market conditions, providing service-based offerings and expertly designed solutions that protect business networks,” said Driscoll.
The main findings
The latest UK channel survey from the distributor provided a snapshot of growth expectations and responses to hybrid working:
- 62% expect to grow by 2-10%, 35% by over 10% in 2022.
- 78% rate cyber security as their biggest growth prospect.
- 70% found remote working beneficial.
- 40% said remote working made running their business harder.