January 7, 2019
By J.P. Dundas, Director of North America Channel Sales, Fuze
2018 proved to be a year where digital transformation reigned as king. As we head into a new year, all signs point toward more disruption among existing channel programs, which also means increased opportunities for our partners and customers.
Here are the top five channel trends of 2019 for our partners to keep a watchful eye on.
1. The continued decline of on-premise services and rise of the app generation. As the app generation enters the workforce, we will see a marked change in enterprises looking to eliminate capital expenses and pay monthly per-user rates. This is the first time a generation is defining itself by technology rather than political or economic events. Enterprises will feel the pressure to scale in the cloud and eliminate shadow IT to equip the younger workforce with the resources they need to do their best work. With each new generation who enters the workforce, enterprises are beginning to plan ahead and update their existing systems. Yet, if they aren’t in the cloud, it’s a serious obstacle for enterprises to update existing solutions, including chat, collaboration and project management platforms. This generation of native app users will accelerate the shift from on-premise to cloud solutions.
2. Companies will prioritize Value as a Service (VaaS). In the crowded SaaS market, “value” will be the biggest differentiation that separates the competition in 2019. Companies want to work with cloud providers who understand their challenges and can quantify their needs. The biggest success will be seen by those individuals that stand out, listen and can execute a clear plan that aligns with their customers’ business goals. Businesses buy from individuals they like and trust and customer success must be the seller’s top priority.
3. Cloud is here to stay. The number of midsized companies converting to the cloud will continue to grow dramatically as we head into 2019. Increasing efficiency, maximizing creativity, fostering collaboration and attracting/retaining top talent are more important than ever for companies. Therefore, we’ll see more CIOs adopting cloud platforms that can integrate all essential applications to enhance productivity down to the end-user level — thus accommodating their workforce needs. As enterprises move to the cloud, they will increasingly rely on their channel partners to support cloud integration and to expand market share.
4. Increased investments in SaaS providers. As enterprises see the value-add in their channel and reseller partners, they will increase their investments in SaaS providers to support these programs. Partners are realizing that the increasing complexity of enterprise IT operations also presents more opportunities for them. The strongest value-add for partners will continue to be through software solutions, such as unified communications and collaboration solutions. SaaS providers can meet this growing value-add demand by …
… managing integration services and protocols that might typically be siloed. Traditionally, software was seen as benefiting IT leaders and having less impact and minimal value on business goals. In 2019, channel partners and SaaS providers will continue to highlight the direct business implications and value-add of SaaS investments.
5. Uptick in real-time data analytics. One of the most powerful assets a business has is its data and ability to understand how to best derive value from that data. The insights from data analytics help companies accelerate business growth and plan for the future. In 2019, we’ll see more companies select tools that best capture real-time data analytics to help maximize their business practices and increase their bottom line. The best tools to fully capture all data and make it accessible are those that offer a single platform for voice, video and collaboration.
The coming year has a lot in store for the channel. We’ll see companies prioritize VaaS and cloud services and focus on data analytics — all of which proves it could be the most disruptive year for channel programs yet.
J.P. Dundas is the director of North America Channel at Fuze. He works with partners strategically to help them build new business and strategy. J.P. knows that the key to success is building strong relationships with partners, customers and co-workers. In 2012, J.P. was named as “Readers’ Choice” as a Top 15 channel manager in the telecom indirect channel by the readers of Channel Partners magazine and has also been invited to numerous President’s Club’s throughout his career. Follow him on LinkedIn.
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