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“Entrenching a digital innovation mindset in your company means you won’t merely survive all the changes happening around you, but instead lay the foundation for a bright future.”

So writes Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, in his article titled “A survival strategy for the digital transformation”, published on LinkedIn in January 2017. In it he makes an argument for the fact that the digital era is now firmly here – and that smaller companies have a lot to gain, whilst companies which used to be dominant but don’t adapt accordingly, end up in a struggle to survive.

As someone who has been inextricably linked with Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) phenomenal growth over recent years, due in no small measure to technological innovation, Vogels should know. And with a 50% increase in revenues the past few years, and a predicted $13 billion in revenue in 2017, AWS stands as a premium example of where an innovative company mindset combined with mastering the new digital environment can land a business.

Vogels states that since 2006, Amazon Web Services has introduced far more than 2500 new services and features, and around 90% of them were the result of wishes articulated directly by customers.

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Customer needs are integral to the innovation process. In fact, Vogels mentions that “The first requirement for developing an innovation mindset is to adapt your offerings fast to changing customer behavior.”

He goes on to say that “Digitization opens up new opportunities for companies to create value. So adopting a digital innovation mindset will automatically lead you to start thinking what kind of value you would like to add to a market in the future.”

ChannelCenter takes the same approach.

Instead of needing to transform digitally however, we were ‘born digital’. This not only means that we base our business model and all our operations digitally, but also that we are unencumbered by legacy channel systems and ways of thinking.

In-line with what Vogels advocates in his article, customer enablement is key to our mission. We sat down and thought about the various operational improvements and efficiencies which we could bring to the channel environment and the various intermediaries therein.

Our goal is to have vendors, distributors and resellers (our customers) think to themselves “This makes so much sense. Why have we not been able to do things this way before?”

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If we can have customers on our platform saying this, then we will have done what we set out to do – provide a digital distribution platform enabling channel intermediaries to save on time and money, and running at the speed of digital whilst remaining simple and user-friendly.

We’ve identified various key channel functionalities where our platform can make a difference – and segmented it accordingly. Traditional operation centers such as sales, operations and finance all get the digital treatment, whilst we have also created a section for another digital technology – eCommerce.

And because all processes are digital, we’re able to collect transactional data and create reports to provide platform users with real-time business intelligence and insights.

It’s good to come across and read articles like Werner Vogels’ from time to time.

It reminds us how important it is to be focused on the distribution channel intermediaries as our customers – and reaffirms our commitment to digital as the way of the future.

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