A sneak peeks into the growing opportunities for channel partners and how can they compete in a digital world. Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst, Founder, and CEO of Greyhound Research shares insights into the day-to-day business challenges of CIOs and CMOs and how channel partners can leverage these data-points by building new capabilities for emerging technologies such as Blockchain, IoT, AI, and Machine Learning
With more and more customer services going digital for organisations like banks, retail, automobile companies, the role of channel partners gets more crucial as the major focus of these companies is on enhancing the customer experience and not the technology. Today, the majority of the channel partners are so focused on technology that they leave aside customer experience. With apps, mobility, and bots driving the business, innovations will drive the wheel of fortune.
Meeting the new set of CIOs challenges
The success stories of different vertical industries – be it banking, auto, and retail among others – shows the growing IT needs. Besides, the business models like 1:1:1 and startups are not only disrupting the business of traditional set of large companies but also changing the IT needs. Today, most of the CIOs’ problem statement is not around technologies like IoT or VDI. They are looking for solutions where they can monetise the data points that they generate every single year. They want their marketing teams to compete with the startups. We must sensitise the traditional channel partners on the emergence of new age IT startups who are trying to penetrate into traditional channel business and tap the customers and other underlying opportunities.
1:1:1 model is real
According to one of our recent studies, I would like to highlight here that there are 300 channel partners in India, having a one-man show, one product and making one million dollars every year. 300 million dollars being made by these new age partners and it can be seen as a missed opportunity for the traditional channel partners.
Partners should work like ‘Iron Man’, wherein they should start building new capabilities around AI and ML, and understand new age business metrics like MDM and MVP.
Understanding Digital Transformation
Digitisation is about modernising the existing IT infrastructure and modernising your technology. Digital Transformation starts from business, then go to talent, and lastly, to technology. Therefore, technology is never a front-runner in the process of Digital Transformation agenda. Business transformation and business outcome are the front-runners. Here, partners need to evaluate on the joint partnership and work in tandems like ‘Coopetition’ (businesses that engage in both competition and cooperation).
Break the ‘Business as Usual’ norm
Till date, close to 98 percent of the IT budget of the organizations is getting spent on maintaining the business as usual compared to innovations. Companies are spending 200 million dollars just to keep the lights on. Why can’t channel partners take over these opportunities and drive innovations?
Here, I would like to pen down six-seven self-reflection questions for partners. Partners need to move away from a traditional mindset to consultative led sales approach, learn lean management practices and work towards getting leads from social media. Marketing is a major weakest link in the channel partners journey. You can’t transform for tomorrow on today’s date using yesterday’s mindset.