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We have announced the results of our Channel trends research exploring what our partners think are the top business priorities for 2016, based on customer trends and predictions. The research surveyed over 1,200 respondents from our global partner base and we wanted to highlight the most interesting trends across EMEA.
Technology differentiation globally and in EMEA is again this year’s number one reason for selecting a vendor. In 2016, we want to get as many customers as possible thinking about the New IP choice and how it could increase flexibility, while reducing cost and complexity for business. Building on from last year’s research, we found that the top business priority for partners in the next 12 months both globally and in EMEA is growth strategy. This is closely followed by expanding technology competencies and new verticals.
Increasing numbers of businesses globally are striving to become truly agile in the way they operate. Globally and in EMEA, the following trends are predicted to have the biggest impact on customers and partners this year: virtualisation and cloud services (53 per cent) mobility, software and networking (15 per cent) and mobility and BYOD (14 per cent). This corroborates with spending for 2016 which will see the most investment in hybrid cloud, network virtualisation and increasing data volume for EMEA. Yet, it appears that in EMEA software and networking is becoming increasingly important, coming in front of hybrid cloud which came top overall globally for spend. In addition, software and networking as a trend came second in EMEA where as it was pushed to third position globally.
Moreover, 90 per cent of partners surveyed globally say IoT and Big Data will be significant trends, at least for some resellers, within 24 months. 57 per cent of EMEA partners also cited that the most significant trend within the next 24 months would be Big Data.
We are keen to really listen to what our partners are telling us and not just on paper. We have just set up our first Partner Advisory Board which kicked off in London last month. It will enable partners the choice and the flexibility to change, but at the same time, make sure they have the same support and confidence that they’ve previously enjoyed from proprietary closed solutions.
In EMEA when looking at the biggest challenges for 2016, the majority of respondents cited network security, (25 per cent) as their biggest concern which reflects global findings. However, in EMEA partners were more concerned with data centre bandwidth requirements as opposed to managing hybrid clouds, which came in second in global figures.
In particular, when looking at storage and networking, a quarter of respondents in EMEA said that the biggest challenge would be managing both fibre channel and IP storage networks and achieving or maintaining Service-Level-Agreements. When asked what is the biggest driver in EMEA for customers to adopt Software-Defined Networking (SDN) the majority of respondents said the ability to choose network platforms (26 per cent) and open and programmable networks (24 per cent). In support of this, half of respondents in EMEA agreed the most compelling rationale, to adopt data centre networking technologies was increased agility, flexibility and innovation.
It’s clear from the research that our channel partners are looking ahead towards the future, ensuring they are not only meeting the business demands of today but planning for tomorrow too. Our channel are heavily focused on building the technology solutions that will meet their customers’ needs for years to come.