Right now, the cloud is changing things.
Your clients now must choose between putting resources into the public cloud or make investments in their own private clouds (aka traditional IT hardware – read our take here >).
As solution providers, the clouds come with new turbulence (yes, we love the airplane metaphors!)
. . . and you can adapt. To adapt well, we believe solution providers, like you, must adjust how you supply products and solutions to your customers.
As this shift continues and pressures mount in our industry, we predict that manufacturers and broadline distributors will put on their oxygen masks first.
It’s natural – and we don’t blame them.
But that means many of the traditional channel resources you’ve relied on will start drying up.
And that means you and your business need to put on your oxygen mask first.
Since public-cloud providers are disrupting our industry – and offering new solutions that directly compete with many of the core competencies that drive your business – you’ll likely have to change how you do business.
We believe resellers can align with – and benefit from – the disruptive trends that the cloud is ushering in. Here’s how:
- Revisit the way you do business and operate as a solution provider.
Solution providers need to be extra-clear on their #1 core competency, and then effectively communicate that to the market. Being the jack-of-all-trades was a good strategy when the computer and technology revolution took over business, but it simply won’t cut it in today’s fragmented market.
As a distributor working with hundreds of solution providers, we see that resellers with a clear niche + obvious expertise maintain the best customer relationships . . . and experience the most consistent growth. It’s a well known axiom in marketing – “the riches are in the niches.” Does your business communicate a clear niche where customers know when to engage your team?
2. Adjust how you view the channel, key partnerships, and the IT supply chain overall.
Smart VARs will take a hard look at how they approach the channel, from their relationships with manufacturers and distributors, to the whole supply chain. Over the years, we’ve seen how firms that try to do everything (looking at you Dell, Cisco, Ingram, Tech Data) end up being mediocre at everything. However, the firms that specialize end up being capable of amazing results.
There are roles for both generalists and specialists. That said, we warn that moving forward into the always-changing market of 2020 and beyond, the best-equipped resellers are (a) vigilant and (b) find the right resources to accomplish the right goals.
TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST
Circling back to the topic at hand – the big distributors are looking out for #1 (themselves), just like everybody else. As cloud infrastructure gains more traction, and supporting the resale of traditional solutions becomes more challenging, the big distis are forced to redirect their channel resources. Recently, we’ve noticed the shift towards the National Solution Providers (CDW, SHI, and Insight) and away from regional and specialized VARs.
We predict that you’ll need to find new avenues for the sales and engineering resources – and attention – that have historically been an essential part of the channel.
But you can embrace alternative resources to gain a competitive advantage.
You can turn to trusted advisors to successfully + profitably deliver private and hybrid cloud solutions to your customers.
You can turn to our team anytime.