June 13, 2022
By Alan Hayward
Organisations that can drive channel partner collaboration are tapping into new levels of success as alliances between technology vendors become an increasing core value proposition in the industry. Collaboration between two or more channel partners can significantly bolster each party’s offering by using the services they offer, helping to stimulate growth through new business and increased customer loyalty.
Optimum levels of service for customers can rarely be delivered by one single channel partner, acting as a one-stop shop. If customers require a service that their current channel partner cannot offer, businesses must pivot to deliver this through inter-channel collaboration. This is where traditional vendors are struggling to remain relevant — customers want innovative, tailored solutions that meet their ultimate business objectives — while offering near-instant flexibility that meets the changing technological landscape.
However, the global disruptions caused by the pandemic have illustrated that collaboration is not only vital to the success between channel partners, it’s also key that channel businesses invest in fostering internal collaboration to create a more resilient business and IT channel in the longer term.
Collaboration in Wake of the Pandemic
Remote and hybrid working options are here to stay, and it has never been more important to take advantage of technology to assist this way of working.
Businesses within the channel must invest time and resources into available software to communicate effectively. Using these collaborative tools will allow companies to share information, internally or externally, with selected audiences. It will also enable employees to create groups and share files, therefore speeding the communication process. As well as this, asynchronous collaboration — people sharing feedback or ideas on a project at different times through email, Asana or Trello boards, forums or a corporate intranet — has proven essential not only in distributed teams, but within local teams with differing schedules and work preferences.
New Ways of Engagement
Channel firms must appreciate how important it is that businesses adapt and remain relevant following such disruption. Exploring new ways of engagement will ensure that they are better prepared for the next unforeseen challenges that lie ahead. The pandemic may have been an unparalleled disruptive force, but organisations who are willing to innovate can use this as an opportunity to build resilience against a range of challenges that the future may hold.
Building resilience starts from within. To create a resilient channel, collaboration must start within. Organisations will need to transform their business models to adapt to the current environment – and this must begin at the top.
Management teams have an important role: to reflect values and behaviours within an organisation. Remaining transparent and consistent with employees by communicating key results or key events within the company can have a positive impact on staff mentality, well-being and culture.
Organisations can also look at identifying ambassadors to empower resilience, staff members who can provide other employees with training and tools to encourage them to be a part of the transformation. This can ensure that between the business and its employees, there is constant communication about what it means to be resilient in the channel. This can be successfully delivered through internal communication channels such as Zoom, MS Teams or webinars.
It’s evident that collaboration has a vital role in driving channel success. Businesses must be agile, flexible and certainly open to change. By establishing and strengthening innovative strategies, those in the channel will be able to react effectively to disruptions of all scales as they work to create a collaborative future for the channel.
An increasing comfort level with technology that years ago would have seemed alien will play an influential role in the future of company collaboration. Strides in technology, such as the increasing use of artificial intelligence and virtual reality in business applications, are increasingly breaking down previous barriers faced by employees. Technology replacing and augmenting human effort is an aspect of collaboration that is only likely to increase moving forward.
Alan Hayward is sales and marketing manager at SEH Technology U.K., where his responsibilities include overseeing all sales and marketing activity in the UK, as well as collaborating with clients including resellers and distributors. Prior to joining SEH Technology, Alan was a product manager at Hosiden. You may follow him on LinkedIn or @SEH__Technology on Twitter.
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