Another year in the channel is almost over. We’ve had the talk of ecosystems accelerated, been told that distribution won’t be around for much longer, seen some massive mergers and acquisitions in the channel and most importantly for us, brought our own products to market.

Over the year, we’ve written the equivalent of a books worth of material about what has been happening and what we believe in.

The following is a breakdown of what we have been discussing over the year, what’s happened in 2021 and what’s coming for 2022.

We’re releasing this now before most people break up for Christmas and New Years. Enjoy the read(s) and feel free to leave a like and comment at the bottom.

Distribution is dying

At the start of the year there was a big push on how distribution has to transform and become a platform in order to thrive.

Following this, one of the biggest mergers/acquisitions we’ve seen in the channel. Tech Data and Synnex became one entity to form a super disti!

If distribution is dying, that’s going to be a lot of money spent for the benefit of a dying a industry.

We have all of the distributors outside of the western markets thriving but then again, we have the marketplace economy coming to fruition with their plan to kill distribution.

We’ve written extensively on this subject over the past year including articles that got picked up by major publications such as Channel Partner Insight and CRN.

You can find the original article here with the CRN published article here

The bottom line is, distribution is not dying…. It’s transforming (in some regions) where they have to move from being box shifters to actually providing value to the partners and vendors in this heavily software driven world.

The distributors outside of the US markets who have been adding value for years just need to continue what they do best and that is acting as a true extension of the vendor. Not just a payment processor.

Distribution is not a globally equal term!

Partner Experience

Another big talking point for the year has been PX or partner experience in its full form. So many vendors claiming to improve partner experience when they are really just increasing frustration for the partners because they just don’t understand what partner experience really is.

Partner experience is not about that shiny new portal that is “yet another portal to login to”.

It’s not about keeping the partner in a silo and restricting them from working with other vendors.

What it is about is making the partners life easier and keeping things as simple as possible as well as maintaining the relationship at a human level.

Automating the frustrating stuff is good for the partner but automating everything so the partner has no human contact with the vendor is detrimental to partnerships overall.

We wrote a piece on channel tech vendors publishing stories of partner experience and being wrong here

It’s time to automate everything!

Another talking point of the year was focused around automation and how we need to start automating everything in the channel just like other industries are doing.

Channels are not built on automation alone but instead the relationships built within the channel.

Without the relationships, there is unlikely any business that is going to flow.

How many times have you worked with a partner that you have never had a conversation with and had success?

The biggest successes in the channel come from those relationships that are built over time and with people that you can have a conversation with outside of the working environment. Take away the human element and you run the risk of killing the channel.

In addition to the partner experience piece we published a piece on “How much can you actually get away with automating?”

The rise of SASE – The single pane of glass for security and infrastructure

This year has seen the rise of SASE. The single pane of glass for a security stack. Essentially trying to cut out the emerging vendors and offer a one stop shop for infrastructure and security. The big vendors are trying to monopolise the stack and take away the opportunity for early stage vendors to enter the party.

Is it an opportunity for the channel or just another way to try and cut the channel out?

We wrote a piece on this right here

That article that went viral and wound up a lot of MSP’s

The suggestion was made by us that there will be no such thing as an MSP by 2030. The rationale behind this is that every MSP is going to have to transform to offer more than just infrastructure as a service and instead expand into managed security as well. This ties in with the introduction of SASE where both infrastructure and security meet each other.

Add the security stack into an MSP’s portfolio and you technically have an MSP/SP. A whole new hybrid type of MSP / MSSP that will eventually become the standard when everyone follows suit.

MSP’s are regional as it is and the outlook is seen from a western set of eyes. In South East Asia, Latin America, Africa and Southern Europe, we have a vast number of resellers and SI’s that are thriving in their respective markets.

To read the original article, click here.

Massive amounts of money being pumped into cybersecurity vendors

We knew it was coming. It was coming for a while but we never knew how much it would happen for. One cybersecurity vendor took an investment of $635m! That wasn’t an acquisition but instead an investment. This shows us that there is plenty of money floating about for companies to expand and thrive. This particular vendor is a channel first vendor that works with 2-tier distribution and they just keep announcing new distributors! And they say distribution is dying. Yeah… Alright!

For a rundown of what happened here, see this article.

Ecosystems are the new norm that will change the way we do business

Ecosystem may be the new buzz word of the moment but when we really think about it, ecosystems have been around as long as the channel has been around. Everyone works with 3rd party companies in the creation of revenue. It’s happened forever. What hasn’t existed is a way to handle those 3rd party plug ins to deals in the channel. Still, it’s not a new thing.

We can throw the term around all we want but everyone knows, deep down, that this isn’t something new. It’s just something that has been brought to public attention more than ever now because it’s the decade of the channel tech stack. The tech needs to catch up with what has been happening for decades and now is the time to do it.

Find out more about our views on this here

It’s another article that got picked up by a channel publication recently and is due to be published in the new year.

The disproportionate amount of vendors appearing vs the number of partners in the market

It’s been increasing year after year after year. So many new vendors coming to the party with copies of products that have existed for years with no clear differentiation. It couldn’t be more true in the cybersecurity market. This causes problems on a grand scale and saturates the market where every one of these vendors are fighting for the same partners.

Another way to indirectly try to kill the channel off.

Vendors compete with vendors from countries just over the border from them with the same solution. This makes each solution regional with a segregated channel if anything and a great difficulty in going global.

Why is this happening?

What can we do about it?

We looked at this in depth in our article on “All vendors going after the same partners”

What’s coming in 2022

Are marketplaces going to take over? Probably not!

Is distribution going to die? 100% not.

Are people going to grasp what partner experience actually means? Again… Unlikely

From a Channelyze perspective, we are are launching our “through channel marketing automation” platform which is available to see in preview mode right now. Nothing like this has been done before and the people that have seen this so far are loving it!

Released in January, the first 100 new customers can have it for free for up to 25 partners (existing customers have it for free too on their first 25 partners).

In the meantime, have yourselves a good Christmas and New Years, keep smiling and stay happy 😀

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