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Targeted analytics could drive the next wave of channel innovation

Zyme is looking to increase optimisation in the channel as it outlines plans to help vendors get a more accurate insight into what is happening with partners

Zyme is hoping to take is channel insight business to the next level with analytics and customer experience following a massive injection of new funding from Insight Venture Partners.

The channel data management specialist is hoping to drive a step change in the way sales and inventory data can be optimised, from OEM through to the channel.

Chandran Sankaran, founder and CEO, Zyme, said that there needed to be more clarity to make sure that the channel and vendors could operate at maximum efficiency.

“If an OEM like Unify or Dell sees inventory of a product pile up in a region and they are about to introduce a new product, they need to get the old inventory flushed out of the system. This requires you see there is a pile-up of inventory and be able to see which partners can shift the inventory and then structure a rebate programme to move the inventory,” he said.

Sankaran added  that the OEMs need to have much more visibility to see which channel partners they need to influence, which tends to require a local relationship.

In a survey of 166 channel managers in large consumer electronics companies, run in February to March, 93% confirmed that incentive payments are currently treated as a cost of doing business rather than an investment to carefully manage longer term return.

The channel has an important role to play in many businesses going forward, but it has suffered from a lack of visibility.

Jason Angelos,  sales strategy and transformation, global lead at Accenture,  said three quarter of CEOs planned to increase the role of their indirect channel, while 90% said they expected the channel to deliver customer experience rather than just sales, which would require more insigh, “Channel partners want insight from manufacturers, but the source of [sales] data is in the channel”.

Angelos expected that an important new currency in the channel would be technology investments to allow partners to share analytics.

“There is a paradigm shift from partnership to ecosystem models with connected growth,” he added.

While there will still be a place at the low end for high volume and lower margins, Angelos said there was a shift in the roles partners play. “Companies are looking at a structured ecosystem play, which is a more complicated environment and has real implications on security and trust.

Research from Accenture found that by sharing leads and sales coaching, selective partners outperformed peers by 70%.

Peter Saudan, VP, Global Sales Operations, Unify, said: “The channel is entitled to retain the customer. But without an understanding of the customer we can’t support them or our channel partners. Resellers need added value in the customer relationship. They are selling services and solutions that are too costly for us to provide. The channel has to derive value from their customer relationships.”

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