Channel Stays Strong in Face of Unrelenting Challenges, Transformation

IT vendors, solution providers play vital role in restoring order amid pandemic

  PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., Jan. 27, 2021 – On the heels of an incredibly challenging year, vendor channel chiefs say they will be dedicating more resources to partner programs and enablement. Partners, meanwhile, have tamped down expectations but remain stalwart in their optimism, with 70% of them expecting positive growth in 2021. Those insights come courtesy of the latest research from Channelnomics as it announces the release of two pivotal reports: the 2021 Channel Chief Outlook and Channel Forecast. Channelnomics, the leading provider of business strategy and research for improving the performance of companies’ direct and indirect channels, took on a new name and an evolving mission this year. The company will continue to offer a high-caliber slate of products and services, including differentiated research, innovative go-to-market strategy development, channels strategy and enablement, and the championing of channel diversity through industry leader partnerships. “Despite the damage caused by the pandemic, economic disruption, and social unrest in 2020, vendors are investing in their channel programs and driving toward growth. Expectations are not high, but measured, ” said Lawrence M. Walsh, CEO and chief analyst of Channelnomics. “There’s a clear understanding that conditions of 2020 accelerated transformation trends already in progress. The 2021 Channel Chief Outlook report points to vendors leaning into that transformation curve.” In the meantime, the 2021 Channel Forecast reveals that partners, while hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, have found a semi-solid footing by addressing customers’ increased demand for collaboration, communications, networking, and security solutions that can help them support remote work and learning, e-commerce, and more in a radically altered world. In a COVID-scarred business climate where competition is fiercer than ever, partners acknowledge the need to focus on sales to boost customer acquisition and retention. Case in point: 62% of survey respondents said they plan to reinvest capital in sales capacity this year. “Channel partners made super-human moves in real time to address the crises of 2020. Some of that effort meant stepping back a bit from their own cloud and service transformation, said Chris Gonsalves, senior vice president of research at Channelnomics and the author of the Channel Forecast report. “To their credit, most partners appear ready and anxious to get back to their long-term plans for building practices focused on recurring-revenue services once the dust settles. That commitment will be key to the overall health of the channel in 2021 and beyond.” “COVID-19 dramatically impacted the solution provider community, ” added Walsh. “While the ongoing pandemic conditions and aftereffects weigh on solution providers’ outlook, they’re demonstrating resilience and aiming toward recovery and growth.” The full reports are available in the Channelnomics Library.

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