5 Key Truths the Channel Needs to Face

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**Editor’s Note: Register now for the Business Success Symposium Preconference, sponsored by Verizon, as part of your Channel Partners Conference & Expo package.**

Expanding competitive pressures, shifting attitudes toward cloud and ever-evolving business models are just some of the challenges the channel faces today.

CompTIA's Carolyn AprilBut where there is change, there is also opportunity. To capitalize and seize the future, MSPs, cloud specialists and telecom agents need to be bold.

During her Channel Partners Conference & Expo Business Success Symposium keynote titled, “Time for Action — 5 Key Truths the Channel Needs to Face About the Future,” Carolyn April, CompTIA’s senior director of industry analysis, will draw from her findings on the current state of the channel. Your road map awaits.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, April provides a preview of the valuable information she will share with partners.

Channel Partners: Can you give an example of the crucial truths you plan to share with partners?

Carolyn April: The channel is at an inflection point: Business models are shifting, the vendor landscape is expanding because of cloud, partner consolidation is rampant and the overall demographic is aging.{ad}

CP: Are many partners ready to embrace change? What does it take to be ready?

CA: Our research shows that the majority of partners are on some path to business transformation. They are moving from transactional resellers to MSPs or embracing a consultative role around cloud, for example. It takes investment, training and an open mind to be ready to make a shift away from the purely transactional reseller to reach a better fit with today’s as-a-service world. This is not an easy task for most channel firms that are constrained by the realities of being a small business.

CP: What are some of the key opportunities partners need to be ready to embrace this year and in the coming years?

CA: Vertical market expertise, consultative cloud practices, and emerging tech areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and anything to do with data.

CP: How do partners stay competitive in an environment with expanding competitive pressures?

CA: Be innovative and close to the customer. Differentiation is really about having a value-add that the general channel ecosystem does not. For example, acquire vertical expertise at a sub-vertical level. So, instead of being a macro-health care IT specialist, dive deeper into expertise around a granular aspect of health care IT such as electronic medical-records software.

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