3 Tech Tips for Channel Pros in 2019

As a channel partner, you’re constantly having to prove your value.

December 31, 2018

4 Min Read
Quick Tips


Tina Gravel


Tamara Prazak

By Tina Gravel, SVP Global Channels and Alliances and Tamara Prazak, Director of Channel Strategy and Marketing, Cyxtera

Channel-Partners-Insights-logo-300x109.pngWith ongoing technology innovation, the channel continues to keep pace with vendor offerings and customer needs across every vertical. Here are some ways to stay ahead of the curve going into 2019. As we look to 2019, Channel Partners caught up with industry veteran Tina Gravel, SVP of Global Channels and Alliances at Cyxtera, the secure infrastructure company, and her new director of channel strategy and marketing, Tamara Prazak, about ways to stay ahead of the curve.

1. Differentiate Yourself from the Crowd

As a channel partner, you’re constantly having to prove your value. Expand your technology know-how and be one step ahead of customer needs.

Pick an emerging technology that is of interest to you and your customers and become an expert. Understand how it can help customers, be able to articulate cost/benefit nuances, explain what an implementation plan would look like and show them what solutions are available. Leverage research from analyst firms, present feedback on best practices and identify the pros/cons of each approach.

Comprehending technology beyond the surface level and being able to collaborate on its adoption helps to cement your role as a trusted adviser who truly cares about growing a customer’s business.

2. The Need for Speed

Speed is going to be of utmost importance, whether it’s speed of implementation, technology, human resource performance or speed to market.

Mobile is a great example: While the average time it takes to fully load a mobile landing page dropped by seven seconds between January 2017 and January 2018, according to Google Research’s Webpagetest.org global sample, the bad news is that it still takes about 15 seconds. That’s far too slow when you consider that 53 percent of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load, according to anonymized Google Analytics data from web sites sharing benchmarking data.

Couple a company’s need to cost-efficiently increase speed to retain attention in a way that does not sacrifice security and you’ve identified a pain point relatable to many.

From an infrastructure standpoint, customers are looking for low-latency connections to the internet, public cloud providers and their own on- and off-premises environments. Companies want to rapidly achieve point, click and provision speed for both compute and connectivity, so they’ll be scrambling in Q1 to find connectivity-rich options to enable easily consumable Hybrid IT — a mix of on-premises, private cloud and third-party public cloud services — with the velocity of cloud. Partners will need to help customers identify solution providers that can facilitate easy infrastructure deployments and network provisioning.

3. HCI Will Grab a Bigger Slice of the Pie

IT budgets will stay lean in 2019, but one emerging technology starting to demand greater investment to address speed and connectivity concerns is hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). Stratistics MRC predicts growth from roughly …

… $800 million in 2015 to $12.8 million by 2022,a CAGR of 48 percent from 2015 to 2022. That’s no wonder, as HCI increases speed to market and performance.

HCI will enable channel partners to increase earnings, too. It fills a solution gap for customers who want the speed and scalability of cloud but can’t put applications there due to security concerns or control preferences. We frequently see this with regulated industries, such as financial services, health care, retail, manufacturing and the public sector.

Additionally, HCI can save money. It’s an attractive option for companies moving applications back from costly cloud options, or those moving from expensive dedicated IT infrastructure to colocation.

Elevate your status with customers in 2019 by being a knowledgeable partner that anticipates needs and encourages the use of technologies that will best serve the growth of their business.

Tina Gravel, Cyxtera‘s senior vice president of global channels and alliances, describes herself as a cloud pioneer. She also is a member of the Channel Partners Business Advisory Board. Tamara Prazak is Cyxtera’s director of channel strategy and marketing. Prazak most recently worked for ViaWest (now known as Flexential) as director of channel strategy. She also is on the board of directors for the Cloud Girls organization. On Twitter, follow Gravel @tgravel, Prazak @TamPraz and the company @cyxtera.

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