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Channel transforming to meet customer needs

Digital transformation is not just an issue for customers and the channel is also undergoing rapid change according to research from Citrix and Canalys

The channel is undergoing fairly rapid transformation as it moves to make sure it is in a position to help serve customer needs.

The pressure of 'digital transformation' is not just something that users are wrestling with and the channel also is having to get itself into shape to serve future needs.

A Citrix survey, carried out by Canalys, quizzed resellers across Northern Europe and found that there was a lot of positivity in the market with 88% expecting revenues to grow.

Cloud is due to deliver in excess of 10% of revenues for at least 71% of partners and a portion of those are looking for even more sales this year.

The survey looked at some of the big technologies that are driving change with security and cloud among them.

There were also signs that big data, artificial intelligence and IoT were also potentially areas that could produce an income for partners. There was still some debate about where the opportunities would come from but there are plenty of eyes watching those tech segments.

“Partners may be divided when it comes to the potential of emerging technologies such as Big Data and the IoT, but the message is clear when it comes to the delivery of cloud services. The time for action is now, and only by working with the right vendors can partners truly capitalise on this opportunity," said Justin Sutton-Parker, partner director, Northern Europe at Citrix.

“The IT industry is facing one of the largest periods of change since its inception, with new and innovative technologies disrupting the bigger players and driving increased customer churn. Despite this challenge, channel partners are forecasting a year of significant growth, with the cloud earmarked as a driver of such change," he added.

From the analyst point of view, Alastair Edwards, chief analyst, Canalys, was keen to underline that the survey indicated just how crucial the channel was in helping customers go through the digital transformation process.

“It’s clear the role of the indirect channel is more critical than ever, as customers seek help to navigate the explosion in IT complexity, to integrate, manage and secure hybrid IT environments and use digital technologies to deliver business advantage," he said.

"In 2017 channel partners should focus on investing in their own digital capability, become more professional services-led and build the solutions which clearly differentiate them from the competition," he added.

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