Jakub Jirsk - Fotolia
When a vendor sets about recruiting resellers the formula of success is no longer quite as straightforward as it used to be before the need to deliver consultancy became more than a cliche and a necessity.
The challenge now is to not only find people who can understand your technology, which can be difficult if it is something relatively new, but can sell it as part of a wider solution.
Going to a networking reseller for help pitching a UC product makes sense but looking for someone that can handle dealing with the impact of virtualisation and mobility on network performance is slightly harder.
It is part of the consequences of the living in the 'age of the solution' where very few vendors claim to deliver it all and instead provide tools and services that are part of the story but not the entire narrative.
The channel was always seen as being in the best position to knit things together but sometimes it is not always clear which partners should be the ones targeted by vendors.
Take the example of networking performance specialist Xangati, which is in the process of developing its channel, and needs to find partners with a profile that includes networking and virtualisation expertise along with the ability to provide high quality services.
Coming from a background largely in direct sales the firm started to make moves to increase its indirect sales by appointing specialised distributor Triangulate IT.
As all good distributors do Triangulate then set off the try to find the sort of partners that would be a good match for Xangati and signed up a few to get the ball rolling.
Jason Purvor, director, EMEA at Xangati, knows that getting the right fit is its current challenge as it looks to recruit partners that can sell, "a product that can deal with multiple issues and has the ability to look across the piece".
"We are looking at channels now. The mid-market is one of the things we need to find a certain type of channel partner," he added.
He is not alone in trying to build a channel base that matches a list of requirements that are more than just selling specific products and there are other vendors in the same position all looking to get a partner above the norm.
It indicates the current state of the channel that apart from wanting to get products stocked in the household names the other main wish for some of the vendors keen to get more market share is to try and get a number of specialists on the books.
As more resellers get themselves into a position where they can provide managed services and high levels of customer support the job of building a channel will become easier for many vendors.
Every vendor talks of quality not quantity when they describe building a channel and the more resellers that get into a position of being considered the former the easier that task will become.