Avoiding the noise of our industry

06 October 2017

I have made no secret of my frustration with the IT Channel in the UK. It is fragmented, disorganised, difficult to navigate and not particularly useful. If its purpose is to deliver vendor product to clients then it sort of works, but if its purpose was to support clients in a quest for understanding how to consume technology then I think it fails spectacularly.

This difference in “direction of sight” I think needs to happen to assist the survival of IT and Telecoms Channel providers in the UK in the short to medium term. With a number of macro-economic uncertainties looming, there are highly likely to be significant casualties in the channel. It is basically a perfect storm for businesses to fail, and only those with the right focus will survive. Key shifts surround:

Brexit – uncertain economic conditions driving spending reviews
Trump vs the World – uncertain political stability driving fluctuations in market conditions
Interest Rate rises – potential increase in cost of debt that could impact leveraged businesses, and consumer behaviour
Cloud – continuing migration from traditional reseller businesses to cloud based services, negating the need for big revenue projects to flow through the channel
Unclear service boundaries – Distributors looking to offer managed services, cloud providers enabling more automated services, resellers struggling to find their value – everyone is eating each others lunch.
Vendor focal shifts – Major players such as IBM, Cisco and Microsoft all switching from hardware to software, leaving some channel providers de-skilled or needing to retrain
With all this change, the need to maintain a focus on the client is even more pressing. It is very easy to become distracted with the macro-economic and industry shift noise, but if you haven’t got any fee paying clients that distraction will consume you. Revenues will drop, and you’ll become another statistic.

I have developed a new web platform, launching in the next few weeks, to help clients find channel partners and vice versa. I’ve been working on it for years, and its sole purpose is to improve the relationship between Clients and Suppliers, such that Clients can find the right supplier for their business, and Suppliers can find the right client projects – avoiding the noise of our industry to retain focus on what they are good at. Its free for Clients, and free for Suppliers to register with a small commission payable for a successful project win (to be offset against Supplier revenues).

In the context of the other stuff going on in the world, simplify the process of Clients working with Suppliers has to be a focus. If anyone fancies helping me test the site for bugs, please comment below.

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