New Research Concludes the Channel Is Strong, but Challenges Lie Ahead

Better than nine out of 10 channel chiefs believe their companies’ sales through and with partners will increase in 2019


PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., March 18, 2019 – Confidence in channel partners’ ability to deliver revenue and growth is waning, and technology vendors are responding by making new investments in training and enablement, according to the 2019 Channel Chief Outlook report by business strategy and research firm The 2112 Group.

The Channel Chief Outlook, an annual forecast of channel performance trends, strategies, and management best practices, reveals that the channel, while resilient, poses challenges. The report provides details on how technology and telecommunications channel chiefs perceive the 2019 channel, investments, tools used to facilitate operations and stimulate growth, challenges, and future opportunities, and on their general expectations of how the channel will perform this year.

According to the Channel Chief Outlook, most vendors and channel chiefs believe that their indirect revenue and partner productivity will increase at a healthy pace this year, but 15 percent fewer channel chiefs expect high rates of channel growth in 2019 than expected them in 2018. The declining growth expectations align with the forecasted decrease in IT spending and the consequences of economic uncertainty and geopolitical tensions.

Skills, transformation, and service-delivery capabilities are at the heart of channel chief objectives for 2019. As more vendors transition into recurring-revenue sales models and technology delivered as a service, new partner types are needed to fulfill the alignment with mission-critical objectives.

“The IT channel is always in a state of flux; the change and evolution underway are extraordinarily uncomfortable and difficult because of the complexity of the technologies, business models, and required changes,” said Lawrence M. Walsh, CEO and founder of The 2112 Group. “What is new in this year’s report is the shift in confidence and the growing perception that many partners have missed the evolution opportunity. Channel chiefs are focusing on the partners that provide them with the best opportunity for success.”

The full report is available in The 2112 Group Library.