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In its quest to increase its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customer base, Dropbox has been leaning on distribution and seen those partners deliver greater value.
The firm has identified the SME market as one that holds opportunity, but is aware that it needs to reach partners that can sell into and service those users via disties.
“We really see the biggest growth within that SME,” said Tim Britt, director of sales and channel, Central Europe at Dropbox. “When I look at it from a channel point of view, these organisations need more support. They are buying more complex and multi-product solutions now.
“This, in turn, puts a lot of pressure on those resellers that have to deliver either support services, security services, implementation, training, usage and adoption. How do they manage this kind of raft of technology solutions? You’ve got resellers now that need to support their customers and try to understand how they deliver those services.”
That situation has seen the role for distribution emerge even more strongly, said Britt, as that level of the channel puts itself in a position where it can support the numerous needs of resellers.
“I’ve seen the role of distribution evolve,” he said. “It’s this natural transition from points of sale measurements to points of value, what value is distribution delivering, and this can scale where they have the huge practices supporting vendors.
“I am starting to see the role of distribution change. It’s not just a marketplace any more. It’s not just a means to easily transact. They need to think beyond just billing and actually what value they provide, but not just for selected vendors, they need to cover everything they do, and we’re starting to see this with a lot of distributors.”
There is also a need to provide a degree of options for a wide range of partners, with some wanting low-touch automated billing and others seeking much higher degrees of collaboration. Britt has seen the benefits of working with disties that can recognise that even those resellers and MSPs that, on the face of it, are operating with small SMEs can add value.
“We’ve seen huge growth in pipeline with those resellers that are supporting those smaller customers, but at scale,” he said.
As Dropbox has expanded its own portfolio and been able to bring more of a solution approach to the channel, it has seen its relationships with distributors and partners change and become increasingly important.
“As Dropbox is transitioning now into more of a collaborative solution, those services and that kind of integration skillsets are massively required,” said Britt. “This is where we see the growth in channel and why the channel has become so important to Dropbox over the last 18 months.
“So, moving forward, we are addressing that change in the market and we are now helping our customers by giving us a scale and reach and also language capability and localisation by enabling our partners in multi-cities, multi-countries all over EMEA to drive that support model.”