Laurent - stock.adobe.com
This should be the year when artificial intelligence (AI) becomes a greater channel play, with more use cases emerging to arm partners with a stronger pitch.
The latest Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) Beyond Distribution podcast has provided an insight into the minds of some in the channel around the impact the technology could have this year.
Schwab said the channel base was continuing to make its move to an increased subscription model – and one of the roles of distribution was to support that development.
“More and more of our partners are migrating to as-a-service consumption model, so we pivoted there. We’ve leaned in on specialised managed services such as security management, because that’s going to continue to grow, especially with AI creating growing security risks. We see cloud providers looking for distribution partners who have adapted this hybrid workplace. So, it’s really both and different consumption models,” he said.
One of roles of distribution is to also identify and guide partners into fresh opportunities, with AI being taken very seriously.
“We’re leaning in on AI, but we’re looking at AI in a really pragmatic sense. It’s very easy to get caught up in the hype. We’re trying to simplify it into how it can impact our partners’ business. And, if not more important, how can it help them differentiate themselves to their end users? How does it allow them go back to their end user, and evangelise this technology and how it could affect them? Both from a risk standpoint, but also how to...take costs out of the equation and help them scale? I think we’re still in the early stages of that...and we’re starting to see solid use cases that we’re training on in Q1, but it’s the tip of the iceberg,” said Schwab.
Vitagliano said that he was also hearing excitement across the channel around the prospects for the year ahead as he spoke to distributors and partners.
“They tell me this is as exciting of a time as they’ve ever been in in the industry, with the base that’s already been built and what’s happening in terms of innovation and technology innovation, enabling them to develop a suite of services that are more profitable than they’ve ever been, and really help them grow. So it’s potentially a very positive story going into 2024,” he said.
Schwab said it expected to perform well through retaining a focus on staff, vendors and partners, and making sure it delivered high-quality support and services to all constituents.
“If we focus on helping our vendors and customers win, we know we will win in the end and our share will grow,” he said.