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Gartner is one of the world’s most respected technology research companies, and is at the forefront of predictions and trends happening across the global business environment.

So it’s interesting to note that on their homepage they have a list of ‘Trending Topics’; with Gartner being at the forefront of tech research, it’s natural to assume that these are some of the hottest topics in the business and technology industry at the moment.

Gartner lists the following as ‘trending’:

– Trends and predictions

– Cloud computing

– Cost optimization

– Data and analytics

– Digital ecosystems

– Digital risk and security

– Mobile

Let’s take a brief closer look at these topics.

Trends and Predictions

Gartner lists various ‘areas of focus’ here, but two are of particular interest to ChannelCenter.

Digitalized Things are Making Assisted Economic Decisions

Gartner states that the “increased use of computing machines in decision making is extending into the realm of financial choices with increasing consistency.’ What’s interesting about this from a ChannelCenter perspective is that the intelligence function whereby transactional platform data is mined for financial and strategic insights, can perhaps be said to assist economic decisions. Maybe not in the fully automated way detailed by Gartner, but definitely lending machine assistance nonetheless.

Renovating the Customer Experience 

Here Gartner states that the “practical digital business sees customer experience innovation as the next frontier, and half of all consumer goods product investments are likely to be directed toward improving the customer experience.” If there’s one thing which ChannelCenter has perhaps prioritized over anything else, it is exactly this desire to ‘renovate the customer experience’ using digital technology, and improve the channel experience for all its intermediaries. ChannelCenter aims to offer a less cumbersome, more nimble and efficient channel experience that is a win-win from end-to-end.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has been written about ad nauseam and its advantages don’t need further discourse here. Needless to say, ChannelCenter is a born-in-the-cloud solution, with all the inherent advantages which that provides.

Cost Optimization

Digital has historically been seen as a cost-reducer, revamping traditional cost-centers and eliminating many physically-associated costs. However, Gartner maintains that IT must show that it is a growth-driver as well. ChannelCenter not only reduces traditional distribution costs via its automation layer, but as mentioned earlier, uncovers potential new opportunities for cross-and-up-sell via its machine-learning and intelligence components as well.

Data and Analytics

Two more tech industry buzzwords of late are ‘data’ and ‘analytics’, whilst two of the main themes which Gartner highlights here are ‘building a data-driven culture’ and ‘engaging customers with advanced analytics’. ChannelCenter is a very data-focused business, with the transactional business engine making up one of the three major platform components.

ChannelCenter's three core engines - transactional, intelligence and marketing

One of the results of the all the transactional data flow which happens via the ChannelCenter platform is the generation of a mass of information, which then feeds the analytics component of the system. And although the transactional component is itself highly useful, it’s in the intelligence component of the ChannelCenter platform where things become interesting and real-value starts to be added.

The valuable data collected from the sales transactions and the distributors’ ERP integrations feeds into the ChannelCenter intelligence engine. Here, deep machine learning, probability mapping, reseller lifecycle mapping and opportunity analysis mine the data for relevant data and trends, providing platform customers with real, key and valuable strategic insights to not only optimize customer engagement, retention and loyalty, but be able to grow the reseller base and revenue as well.

Digital Ecosystems

Gartner defines a digital ecosystem as “an interdependent group of enterprises, people and/or things that share standardized digital platforms for a mutually beneficial purpose (such as commercial gain, innovation or common interest). Digital ecosystems enable you to interact with customers, partners, adjacent industries — even your competition.”

Image showing a typical IT channel ecosystem.

As a digital distribution platform which connects all intermediaries within the channel, ChannelCenter is its very own defined digital ecosystem, which allows its platform customers to interact with their customers, their suppliers and their partners in an attempt to bring automation and enhanced efficiencies to the various operational processes. Gartner research shows that 79% of top-performing digital organizations indicate participation in a digital ecosystem — vs. 49% of average performers – and that digital ecosystem participation is expected to keep rising.

Digital Risk and Security

With cyber-security as big an issue these days as ever before, Gartner states it’s imperative that IT security link with the rest of the business supply chain. ChannelCenter holds its platform security seriously, and takes the utmost care in ensuring that all API integration taking place between channel intermediaries is secure, ensuring that an unbroken secure chain runs throughout the distribution platform from end-to-end. 

Mobile

Mobility is another technology trend which has become extremely popular of late, and with good reason. The stats on mobility growth are nothing short of amazing and optimizing a platform such as ChannelCenter’s for mobile brings with it the usual accessibility and convenience factors. Whilst the intricacies of the operational system lend themselves more naturally to desktop environments, ChannelCenter has configured its platform for mobile as well, due to important workforce mobility factors.

Casting one’s eyes over Gartner’s ‘Trending Topics’, it’s revealing to see that ChannelCenter’s digital IT distribution platform is active in, or linked to all of these topics. It makes sense that a company which is trying to ‘re-imagine IT distribution’ is future-oriented and playing in some of technologies’ trendiest spaces.

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