- While new types of competitors is pegged as a leading pessimism about the future of IT channels, expanded IT ecosystems are also bringing a swathe of new players, products and services to the market, according to a CompTIA survey of executives from 400 IT businesses in the U.S.
- The new crowd of players includes technology-specific ones, such as independent software vendors and SaaS resellers and referral partners, as well as other professional organizations such as digital marketing agencies, law firms and accounting agencies. Even when these organizations do not identify as channel partners, they often operate as such, according to the study.
- Strong partner ecosystems with other service providers are a more critical foundation for businesses than ever. And more channel firms are working toward vertical industry specialization: 75% of respondents categorized vertical industry work as important.
Success for vendors is often a combination of innovation and breadth of partner ecosystems and capabilities. More businesses find a niche in specialization than casting a wide net, and filling holes in product and service coverage often falls to formulating partnerships in the enterprise.
Bringing on partners can send positive signals to customers to buy into a company's products or services. Dropbox, for example, partnered with Google to incentivize customers to adopt its tools following its IPO announcement in an attempt to boost integrations across platforms and move beyond its primarily SMB clientele.
And Google Cloud, looking to move closer to Microsoft Azure and AWS, grew its technology partner ecosystem 10 times since the beginning of 2018, working with channel partners such as Accenture, Deloitte and KPMG. These partnerships help extend partners' SaaS offerings on the GCP cloud while opening more cloud opportunities for infrastructure and platform customers.