EMEA channel businesses have unique challenges. We're prepared to help solve them.

Craig Galbraith, Editorial Director

October 6, 2020

6 Min Read
Channel Evolution Europe Banner Oct 2020

COVID-19 has made 2020 a year to forget in so many ways that I don’t have to list here. Yet, you have a business to run. Some of you have struggled mightily, while others have embraced the sales of new technology to a point where you’ve had much success. Our goal at Channel Evolution Europe Virtual, 1-2 December, is to help managed service providers, VARs, distributors and more in the U.K. and throughout EMEA to address their own unique challenges as well as those that impact partners around the globe.

COVID-19, of course, will be a hot topic. But as I have aptly dubbed my opening message on Dec. 1, “Hindsight Is So 2020; This Is Insight.” By now, you’ve accepted the reality of the “new normal,” or whatever you want to call it. It’s time to consider what the post-COVID-19 reality will look like, and we’re here to help.


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While the economic impact of COVID-19 has been a mixed bag for European partners, for the most part it’s been a tough row to hoe for many of your customers. That’s particularly true for small businesses. They want their IT to be easier. They want bundles to simplify their technology and keep the price low. And they want to work with a minimum number of people to keep their systems running smoothly.

To respond, Europe-based partners need to diversify. For example, if you’re an expert in unified communications and collaboration, get better at security. Expanding your knowledge base will win you new customers and help keep the ones you have who don’t want to work with more than one technology partner.

Fortunately, we have numerous sessions at Channel Evolution Europe dedicated to these types of business transformation.

  • In “Creating Order and Opportunity from Chaos,” you’ll hear from Tracy Pound, managing director for Maximity, the training and business coaching provider. She will moderate a panel on how to overcome the many challenges the channel faces today. (And yes, Brexit still lurks around the corner.)

  • Also, Stuart Wilson, research director, channels and alliances at IDC, will offer an analyst’s perspective in these difficult times. Adjusting your technology portfolio and improving the customer experience are two important things you can do to be successful. Wilson will dive into the research on those topics and more that can help give partner businesses a major boost.

  • Then you’ll learn, straight from the source, how three successful U.K.-based partners have pivoted to capitalise on opportunities during this challenging year.

Vendors in this economic climate have made admirable strides to help their customers. They’ve eliminated late fees, offered payment “holidays” and free trials. For partners – in the U.K. in particular – many of these same companies – and traditional distributors and master agents – have increased the market development funds (MDFs) they offer. Yet, for one reason or another, partners don’t use these to their full advantage. One such factor is a lack of marketing skill, particularly in this digital age.

Join 650+ EMEA channel pros – MSPs, resellers, agents, integrators, consultants, distributors and suppliers – at Channel Evolution Europe. Register now for this can’t-miss virtual channel event, 1-2 December.

Once again, Channel Evolution Europe is here to help. Claire Jenks, an MSP design and brand expert in the U.K., will take our virtual stage to help partners create content for their digital brands. See how simple video, infographic, blog creation and more can help you stand out from the pack. Jenks says in just 25 minutes you’ll learn …

… how to create content that shows you’re an authority in your industry. Most importantly, you’ll attract new clients for your IT business.

It’s not unusual for partners in Europe to struggle with the wide array of suppliers from which to choose. Often it comes down to the technology. So while business discussions will be at the fore, there will be no shortage of tech talk at Channel Evolution Europe. Our popular Thunderdome sessions on SD-WAN and cybersecurity let partners hear from European vendors about the latest advancements in their technologies. They’ll also try to woo you into their camps, explaining why their solutions are better than their competitors’.

Of course, our industry is more than just the business and technology that comprise the bulk of what we do. In the wake of headline-making news around the world, we at Channel Partners this year committed ourselves to a mission of diversity and inclusion in the channel. That includes ensuring people of color have a voice at our events and we are actively promoting racial equality. Channel Evolution Europe is no exception. Naima Camara, senior research analyst at IDC, will host a panel on the topic of diversity and inclusion in tech. You will learn strategies partners can use to attract and retain a more diverse workforce. We all benefit from a healthy exchange of ideas that come from different perspectives.

Sign up for Channel Futures’ new EMEA newsletter, where we feature news and analysis involving companies based in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as those doing business in that region.

We are also thrilled to bring a real-life technology case study to our virtual stage. Ian Hennessey is the clinical director of innovation at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. He will offer an informative look into the latest technology in the medical field from the perspective of a technologically advanced health care institution. You will get to hear how tech has had a real impact on patients and their families. In addition, we at Informa Tech – Channel Partners’ parent company – are donating USD $2500 to Alder Hey’s mission to help children.

Furthermore, Channel Evolution Europe Virtual is a chance for us to celebrate the EMEA winners from our 2020 MSP 501. It’s the world’s most comprehensive list of top managed service providers, this time with a focus on Europe.

Finally, we encourage you to take advantage of our virtual expo hall, open from 11:00-16:30 GMT on 1 December, and 11:00-15:30 on 2 December. It’s your chance to build your business via meetings with some of the biggest names in the channel. You can also interact with peers during networking breaks we’ve built in to the schedule.

Come and be ready to engage. Throughout Channel Evolution Europe Virtual, our speakers will be prepared to answer your questions. And the Channel Partners team will be on hand in the chat section to spur conversation. Be sure to review the full agenda for what’s on tap. We can’t wait to see you virtually, 1-2 December. Here’s where to register.

About the Author(s)

Craig Galbraith

Editorial Director, Channel Futures

Craig Galbraith is the editorial director for Channel Futures, joining the team in 2008. Before that, he spent more than 11 years as an anchor, reporter and managing editor in television newsrooms in North Dakota and Washington state. Craig is a proud Husky, having graduated from the University of Washington. He makes his home in the Phoenix area.

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