Channel Partners Europe: Channel Must Leverage Tech to Help Customers In Tough Times

The state of the European channel was under discussion at Channel Partners Europe in London.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

June 13, 2023

3 Min Read
State of European channels discussion at Channel Partners Europe 2023

CHANNEL PARTNERS EUROPE — How can the channel use technology to help customers grow their businesses during the current economic downturn? That was one of the topics kicking off the Channel Partners Europe event in London, Tuesday.

Adam Wilson, strategic partner director EMEA, Vonage, tackled the topic on stage with Tracy Pound, founder and managing director, Maximity (pictured above).

Pound compared the uplift in the use of technology to that during the 2008 recession. Then, she said, companies used technology to become more process efficient and more automated.

“I think we’re seeing that scale out to the channel. And we’re seeing that through vendors and distributors, and managed service providers, agents,” she said.

Wilson agreed that the industry needs to leverage technology when the workforce is impacted by the economy.

“We’re in the technology industry; let’s use it to our benefit. It’s key we come together and collaborate, and co-sell together towards our end customers,” he said. “It’s a huge challenge for all of us now to ensure that we bring that latest and greatest technology to the fingertips of our channel partners.”

Augmenting Solutions with AI

To that end, under discussion was the impact of artificial intelligence (AI). Wilson said Vonage is augmenting its offerings with ChatGPT for creating, meeting and call summaries for its contact center users.

“Key is augmentation,” he said. “We’re using it in terms of conversational artificial intelligence capability. We’re a provider of that capability to some of the airports in the UK to answer the simpler questions and to serve high volume of calls simultaneously. So, these things undoubtedly are going to be areas where we can really leverage the technology to help our customers grow their businesses.”

Vonage is also focusing on using AI for conversational commerce. This includes engaging consumers on a channel of their choice, such as Instagram.

“Why deflect to a website and rely on that website’s e-commerce experience when you can engage someone on the channel of their choice? And you can engage a large number of simultaneous consumers? Leveraging that virtual assistant, developed using conversational AI — this is a powerful tool.”

Channel Partners Europe: Convergence Between MSPs, Telecoms

Vonage was acquired by Ericsson last July and is now the largest provider of cloud communications in Europe.

Wilson addressed the consolidation in the market — in particular, the convergence of telecoms companies and MSPs.

“We’re seeing that communication service providers, mobile operators and telecommunication carriers are taking an even greater step forward looking to provide unified communications services. That is going to certainly require assistance from the MSP. It’s simply not possible for the CSPs around the world to walk into every door – every business – in every market that we serve. The MSP community is going to have an excellent opportunity to take that proposition to the customer and provide that level of intimacy that customers demand.

“It’s definitely a growing channel. There are some challenges in terms of learning and development and helping that channel ask the right questions of all those lines-of-business leaders within the organization. It is one stakeholder, but definitely not the only stakeholder. So, it’s incumbent on us to help our channel partners with that conversation.”

Channel Partners Europe runs through Wednesday in London.

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


Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like