As the IT distribution industry undergoes various changes, a new software platform promises to shake things up further by integrating the sales, operations and financial functions of the various IT channel intermediaries, to the benefit of all parties.
It’s no secret that the global business environment is evolving rapidly, and despite remaining seemingly immune for many years, the IT distribution channel is now finally starting to see the effects of changes which have already been happening in the technology space for some time.
For starters, the channel is not exempt from macro-environmental forces such as a financial hangover from the last recession, political changes, global uncertainty and over-arching legal changes, such as the introduction of data privacy acts.
Then there are specific channel pressures, often brought by changes in technology, including:
Probably the most pervasive technology to infiltrate the channel, cloud technology is bringing sweeping changes – from the product being distributed to the end-user customer, to the actual distribution mechanisms themselves. Probably more than any other factor, cloud is forcing vendors, distributors and resellers to adapt, innovate and change the way that they structure their businesses.
With the evolution of new technologies, specialized new players are emerging and increasing competition amongst existing companies within the IT channel. As established channel players move into new business areas, they encounter new start-ups which were never on the channel scene before. With old business paradigms becoming obsolete, the competition in new business areas is hotting up.
All traditional distributors within the channel are aware that channel margins are no longer what they used to be, and that margins are coming under pressure from all sides. Under economic pressure themselves, vendors are expecting more financially from the channel, whilst downstream customers are squeezing their suppliers and unwilling to compromise on margins like never before.
Direct Vendor Engagement
In the past, it was simple. Vendors would use channel reach to put their products in the hands of their ultimate end-user target market. Now however, the advent of digital and cloud has enabled vendors (and by proxy end-users) like never before. Electronic delivery mechanisms and e-commerce environments enable end-users to do business directly with vendors, to the benefit of both parties and to the disadvantage of traditional distributors and resellers.
These various factors are changing the game. No longer able to rely on legacy systems and outdated ways of doing business, distributors and their resellers have been forced to adapt their methods and deliver new value in previously unforeseen ways.
ICT managers thus need to be alert regarding aligning to and working with companies which are actively innovating within the channel arena, and seek to capitalize on opportunities which present themselves in the digital space, as this is surely where the future lies.
Pre-integrated APIs work seamlessly to connect the various channel intermediary IT systems, and facilitate fully automated workflows throughout the platform, whilst simple credentials setup and easy product on-boarding make the process smooth and trouble-free.
ChannelCenter is a company which is truly innovative, in that it utilizes technological innovation to bring a fresh outlook and business paradigm to the IT distribution environment. The firm has conceptualized, developed and perfected a digital platform which integrates the sales, operations and financial functions throughout the channel.
Distributors can load vendors as per their existing distribution agreements and gain access to a variety of functionality designed to optimize their dealings with vendors and resellers. New sub-distribution agreements can be created and loaded, opening new revenue markets.
Pre-integrated APIs work seamlessly to connect the various channel intermediary IT systems, and facilitate fully automated workflows throughout the platform, whilst simple credentials setup and easy product on-boarding make the process smooth and trouble-free. Users gain access to a variety of clear and logical dashboards, covering a variety of grouped functionalities.
…ChannelCenter delivers an overdue
dose of digital inspiration…
Using the ChannelCenter platform, users can setup vendor profiles and configure products via preloaded product key management. New quotes can be generated and orders placed via the sales portal, whilst the ability to manage product renewals is key from a licensing revenue maintenance perspective. Maintaining an updated database of company and customer contacts is imperative, and ChannelCenter’s operations management portal gives users an easy way to manage these.
Managing the all-important financial aspects of the ChannelCenter platform is simple as well. Distributors can track invoices and payments in real-time through the portal, as well as keep tabs on recurring revenue via a user-friendly dashboard. And with full support services, ChannelCenter assists its customers in every area, from on-boarding to maintenance.
Initially aimed at distributors, the platform contains multiple benefits for its customers. Increased operational efficiencies and greater profitability are the core benefits. Enhanced reseller experience and satisfaction, improved reach via platform availability and self-service, unlocking greater value for vendors, moving distributors to data-driven decision making and positioning the customer as a digital innovator are the icing on the cake.
In short, ChannelCenter delivers an overdue dose of digital inspiration, and reinvigorates an IT distribution channel struggling to adapt to and navigate a new business paradigm.