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Channel struggling to unlock data insights

High volumes of information from various sources are underlining attempts to grow revenues, according to findings from Westcon-Comstor

The vast majority of channel partners recognise the role data can play in helping to grow and improve business, but many are struggling to unlock those benefits.

Research from Westcon-Comstor, Bridging the gap: power up your data for channel partner transformation, has revealed that 97% of channel partners saw data as essential underpinning their growth and transformation.

With partners under pressure to deliver Everything as a Service (XaaS), the pressure is on to take advantage of the insights about how the business is performing.

Volumes of data are growing and will accelerate further with the introduction of more generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) tools, but already partners are telling the distributor of their challenges, with many citing gaining access to the right data as a problem.

Failing to get high-quality data was seen by more than half of the respondents as underlining the opportunity for growth in recurring revenues. The key desire from partners across various countries was for data that would drive revenue opportunities.

Wading through high volumes of data emerging from numerous sources was the main problem for many partners quizzed by the distributor.

“Our biggest challenge with data is the volumes we receive, and second to that would be that it resides in so many different places and it often conflicts,” said Samuel Cordery, head of sales operations, client success and lifecycle at UK-based ITGL, one of the channel partners interviewed for the research.

Patrick Aronson, chief marketing officer and APAC executive vice-president at Westcon-Comstor, said the firm had uncovered a yearning across the channel to be able to exploit data.

“Our research clearly shows that while partners see data as central to their transition to recurring revenue models, many are grappling with practical challenges around access to data and data utilisation,” he said

“Application of data and attitudes to it vary across different geographic markets, but one universal theme is that partners want to enhance their data capabilities and embed a truly data-driven approach as they aim to unlock growth opportunities,” he added.

Westcon-Comstor has been keen to share more data with partners, and Aronson said that it was important that disties played their part.

“It is incumbent on those across the channel ecosystem, including distributors, to equip partners with the data and analytics they need to seize new growth opportunities and complete their journey to a subscription, software and services-based future,” he said.

There has been an increasing focus across the channel on using data to help drive partner businesses, with HP’s Amplify partner programme one of the most high-profile examples.

Speaking back when the vendor launched the programme in 2020, various HP executives talked about the benefits of using data to identify opportunities and meet customer expectations.

“We want to make sure we really understand the customer journey together...and we want to be able to deliver the best value and the best business outcomes,” said Luciana Broggi, global head of route-to-market at HP.

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