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November 21, 2023
Members of the tech advisor community say their customers are increasingly willing to spend money on technology, but demand for the tech portfolio could be shifting.
The Channel Futures Q3 Market Outlook showed increasing optimism in the technology advisor (agent) channel. After a start to the year that saw a slowdown in the sales cycle, partners report customer budgets opening up for tech investments.
The survey took responses from 64 tech advisor (TA) partners, who offered observations about hiring, sales and their distribution partners.
Ninety-five percent of technology advisors offered average-to-excellent approval ratings of the channel.
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Devan Adams, principal analyst for channel at Omdia, said that sentiment stems in part from 46% of partners see customer appetite for tech spending increasing. (Omdia's parent company, Informa, also owns Channel Futures.)
Omdia's Devan Adams
“The correlation between these two key data points is obvious and shows that TAs feel confident they can adapt to the current landscape and capitalize on the market opportunities presented by economic conditions like IT layoffs, high interest rates, etc., especially as more businesses increase their spending on outsourcing services and need TAs to help facilitate those efforts," Adams said.
At the same time, some partners are rethinking their strategic emphasis on unified communications as a service (UCaaS) in the face of price compression, market saturation and vendor sprawl.
Kairos Data Communications chief revenue officer Lucas Salvage told Channel Futures that "UC sales have absolutely slowed."
Kairos' Lucas Salvage
"That's not to say we don't still love UC. We're presently doing a 2,000 seat deployment," Salvage said. "However, it just seems that with the onset of COVID in 2020, so many companies rushed to move toward a cloud-based UC strategy, that we're seeing that cool off a bit. I can't honestly say that this is a true 'slowdown' or just a more normalized cycle rather than that of the pandemic and short-post pandemic rush to move to the cloud."
In the slideshow above, several partners weighed in on the state of UCaaS, customer spending and other trends in the agent channel.
Senior News Editor, Channel Futures
James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.
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