What would the IT industry look like if it had no channel? Scary, yes, but put simply, it couldn’t survive any longer than a marriage to Elizabeth Taylor.
Over the years I have spent writing about the industry, I’ve learnt that what makes a good piece of technology really good, is how people in the channel can actually use it to the benefit their customers. How they can add their own specific services touch along with the type of vendor support they can obtain.
The key to the industry is the channel: They have the knowledge to unlock many market opportunities with their valuable ability to speak in-depth to customers at a level many vendors really can’t begin to achieve.
Technologies that can save money and time seem to dominate most customer agendas, but convincing them what technology is best for their business needs, is only something a true channel partner can provide. As technology continuously evolves, it’s the channel that can explain and provide the best details about what it can do for a customer’s business.
Over time, vendors have learnt the hard way and realised they can’t win customers themselves – they need the channel to get into the nitty-gritty technical and services detail that go beyond the neatly packaged product. Even vendors such as Dell have come around and back again to try and incorporate some form of a channel model in their business. Why? Because they just can’t handle it all themselves and have slowly come to the realisation they’re missing out on valuable opportunities in these tough economic times.