The concept of a channel program was ideal for OEMs wanting to align with companies that were interested in selling their hardware and software to IT managers of companies of all sizes. It was an effective model for many years.
Now the typical channel partner program is beginning to show its age. As cloud, multi-cloud and hybrid environments become more common, the attempt to tack on these options into existing channel programs is leaving some resellers, particularly smaller ones, without many options.
Designed for big companies: One of the issues with a channel program that has been adapted for cloud is that it is too complex, with too many barriers to entry. Instead, the channel partner program in a bigger OEM needs redesigning, perhaps with multiple program options for channel partners.
For example, many OEMs rely on current revenue attainment as a way to rank and prioritize their channel partners, but this key performance indicator (KPI) is a lagging indicator — not a reliable way to measure a channel partner’s value.
The metric was more appropriate when a reseller was simply trying to meet an IT department’s hardware needs. Now that there’s not only hardware, but on-premises systems and cloud deployment, the program needs a better indicator of success.
Managing the complexity: The traditional channel program also favors bigger partners because larger companies have the staff to navigate the complexity of the current environment. Each enterprise’s needs are varied and the offerings available from OEMs are also varied.
An example of this is the shift away from IT managers driving innovation to assist, in many cases, the line-of-business managers pushing for new software options that will appeal to the end user and give the company a competitive edge. In these cases, there are specific pain points that the channel partner must be familiar with and be able to recommend the best option.
In short, vendors need to make it convenient and easy for channel partners to participate in their programs. The first vendors that make sweeping changes to their channel program are likely to experience a competitive edge as resellers prefer to align with their program.
eXemplify is more than a master agent, which means you get more than the typical partner program and can do more for your clients. As a Value Added Technology Master Distributor, eXemplify uses a holistic approach to help take your business to the next level and master all aspects of partnering with us. Contact us to learn more about our innovative channel program.