By Punit Kapoor
This pandemic has taught us many things. As the world shifted to the work from home norm, one of the softer trends that emerged very strongly during this crisis is the trust among individuals and among organisations. As we are confined to our homes, there has been an emphasis on the fact that on how much we appreciate human touch. To understand how the partner-centric approach has evolved during this year, let’s talk about 3Es: Engagement, Empathy and Evolving Together.
Engage: It’s not that engagement was not there during the pre-Covid era, but the pandemic taught us all of being cognizant of the value of this connection that we have person to person.
Empathise: Being empathetic to your partners by putting yourself in their shoes is very important. This can be done by understanding the situation your partners are in, proactively. Then charting out a plan of how we they can be helped. Engagement and Empathy go hand in hand. It’s done by listening to our partners, adjusting along the way. This is how we will truly be able to help them.
Evolving Together: It is important for the organisations to evolve in tandem with our channel partners. To attain this well coordinated stage, one will have to not only understand what their partners’ business goals are but also what their personal goals are. This is true even for customers. For instance, it’s important to understand the strategic goal of an organisation but at the same time it is equally to understand the decision makers on a personal level.
These 3 Es are a perfect formula to understand and thrive together with your partners in the coming years.
Levelling up by skilling and training
With more time on our hands, Now is the perfect time for trainings and reskilling for partners. This investment will be especially helpful if they deal with technological products that are innovating at a rapid pace. With Work from Home being the new normal, we all are able to avail these training facilities from the safety of our homes. Even at Commvault, we took this opportunity to arrange exclusive training sessions for our partners on our new product portfolio, which has been launched earlier this year.
Learning and Development sessions for partners in the future will also become more hybrid i.e. it will be a mix of virtual leisure learning experience coupled with physical meet and conventions.
Priorities of customers and partners
World over IT has taken the centre stage in boardrooms. In the medium term, we will see an increase in adoption of a customised hybrid strategy, whether we look at customers’ operational or cloud strategy. This hybrid approach, though fits the need of enterprises, also tends to throw challenges along the way.
Increased vulnerability to fragmented data or data being generated at multiple access points are major concern areas for organisations, which have also become a part of boardroom discussion.
Ransomware, for instance, has become one of the biggest challenges across the board. Enterprises are realising that they need to armour against cyberattacks robustly and intelligently. This is where experts like us come in, to help make sure that we are there when partners and customers want to execute their digital transformation strategies with security and data protection at the foundation of this evolution.
While there might be the stress on spends, but it’s the investment in the right technology that will give enterprises a competitive edge in the time to come. While organisations will continue to make investments in tools for productivity and collaboration tools related to AI and ML, and most importantly data analytics and Big Data, data security and data management will become the focal point across the organizational business and IT strategy.
Powering the trust
The massive digital evolution in India has resulted in a deluge of business opportunities. Considering that the choice in vendors with whom to partner is ever expanding, trust will be at an all-time premium. Vendors committed to learning about what makes their partners tick, their challenges, buying policies, culture and regulatory constraints, will be far ahead of the curve. This will enable them to invest in mutually beneficial partnerships that operate on competence, reliability, integrity and continuous dialogue.
In the face of changing macro-economic and technology factors, it will also be imperative for vendors and partners to reimagine not just their product and service offering, but the ‘relationship’ itself, which can make or break, even a strong business relationship in these unprecedented times.
Post-Covid world = Data driven world
One thing is truly foreseeable. Our future world will be a data and technology driven ecosystem. AI and ML will be at the helm of this technology transformation and will help reduce manual mundane and repetitive tasks. This will also prove to be path breaking in leveraging insights from data lakes of enterprises.
As remote work gets embedded in our way of life, it will evolve even further in terms of more agile infrastructure, having applications that help employees’ remote experience, and more complexities that data management systems will be able to solve. Data will be at the heart of this technological transformation journey, where channel partners and vendors will work more closely than ever to embrace open collaboration, rooted in trust, in order to help customers achieve a data-led digital growth.
(The author is Director – Channels & Distribution, India & SAARC, Commvault)
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