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The Evolution of the Channel

By Khali Henderson
February 20, 2014 - Article

Khali HendersonThe evolution of the technology channel is a preoccupation for solutions providers and suppliers alike. It's not without cause; the exponential increase in technology's complexity and variety paired with dramatic shift in how it's consumed and purchased are forcing the issue. The warning has been delivered — the channel must change or else!

"Or else" is to risk obsolescence, to no longer be of value to business technology customers nor their suppliers. That is an unenviable state that channel partners should avoid at all costs, right?

Unfortunately, that's not the case. "The majority of channel partners remain wedded to the practices of the past," said Larry Walsh, president and CEO of The 2112 Group, a channel consulting firm. "Channel partners are moving at a glacial pace when it comes to the evolution of their businesses and anticipating future needs [of their customers]."

Source: Channel Partners, February 2014

Some of this may be due to inertia rather than ignorance. New research from The 2112 Group finds a 27 percent difference between channel partners who believe they should have a strategic growth plan and those who actually have one. It's the business equivalent of knowing you should exercise, but never actually going to the gym.

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