Business Models Blending for U.K., EMEA Channel Partners

Learn how reseller, integrator, MSP and agent models are evolving and merging in Europe.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

July 4, 2023

16 Slides

Swim lanes are blurring for EMEA channel partners as firms adopt different sales and service models.

European partners are evolving their models in big way, evidenced by M&A, rapid hiring and new partnerships. Stuart Wilson, senior research director for IDC‘s Europe, Middle East and Africa partnering ecosystems program, said the average European partner has grown “incredibly fluid and dynamic” in its model.

“You can’t draw those separating lines between partner types anymore. We’re talking to some of the largest global systems integrators out there, and they’re now becoming MSPs that are looking at the midmarket and below.”

Wilson said smaller resellers that work with IDC’s partner advisory board report seeing brand new competitors in their down-market territory. At the same time, some of those smaller partners are getting more opportunities with bigger customers than they’ve ever seen before.

“They still have this idea that everyone stays in their swim lane, and it’s all nice and friendly. But it’s not like that anymore. Because the way that technology has evolved – the move to cloud, the move to SaaS, the move to everything as a service – is suddenly enabling these new ecosystem models to build and develop that we haven’t necessarily seen before,” Wilson told Channel Futures.

EMEA Channel Partners Adopting ‘Coopetition’


IDC’s Stuart Wilson

And in many cases, partners are accepting a new sense of coopetition.

“In the past, it was always quite neat. It was always the vendor and one partner packaging that together for the customer,” Wilson said. “And now that that’s broken — that’s gone. You can have different partners working together to serve a single customer to help that customer, implement a solution, run a solution and optimise a solution.”

In the meantime, a younger channel partner model is seeking to break into EMEA. U.S.-based technology services distributors (TSDs) have set up shop in the U.K. in last decade, and they say increase demand for cloud-based communications technologies is giving them a foothold in the market. Nevertheless, the TSD community must work hard to convince long-established partners of the value of the residual, commission-based agent model.


Telarus’ Paul Harris

“The market itself here is our competition. The channel over here is probably 90-95% resale, wholesale and systems integrator. And we’re probably five to 10% of the market,” Telarus regional vice president for EMEA Paul Harris told Channel Futures.

Channel Futures recently visited London and interviewed several U.K.-based groups about the state of the EMEA channel partners community. Read highlights from the conversation, including observations on the VAR, MSP and technology advisor markets, in the images above.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email James Anderson or connect with him on LinkedIn.


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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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