Five Years From Now Marketplaces Will Dominate the Channel


The Future Is Now

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The very fabric of our industry is changing every day. And, ready or not, the future is now.  Let’s take a look at some of the drivers:

  • In a recent blog, Larry Walsh from 2112 Group opined that “five years from now marketplaces will dominate the channel, consolidating points of purchase and limiting opportunities for legacy partners. And professional services specialists will be influencers, directing customers on what to purchase and from whom.”
  • Jay McBain of Forrester talked recently about the future of channels, the “shadow channel” and the role of influencers versus traditional VAR partners.
  • Microsoft is replacing 3,000 people with new employees with deep industry vertical expertise to be more in touch with their customers and their unique solutions, especially in financial services, manufacturing, retail, education, health care and government.

What does all this mean for the future of channels and the role of partners? One of the things we are doing at Comcast Business is rolling out a new SD-WAN service. SD-WAN will fundamentally change the way networks are being operated and supported by partners. As we move to more disparate networks, and as the price of bandwidth continues to decrease, the requirement for providing more value-add to clients buying these services from their partners will only keep increasing. It will be more about using the unique software and portal for the SD-WAN service to improve a customer’s competitive advantage for its downstream customers and employees. The channel partners that can operate these SD-WAN networks on behalf of their customers while providing high value-added services will be the winners. While this may seem obvious, it is no longer a “nice to have”–it will be a pre-requisite for survival.

> Read the entire article, The Future Is Now, at