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The Margin Q2 2019

The Margin Q2 2019

The new partner

Gazing out over the open plan office and his staff occupying themselves with the business of selling, the country manager of a large software vendor in South Africa put it like this: ‘Everyone, including me, is chasing a number'.

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Selling technology appears to be getting harder, and the buyers are nowadays more informed and will arrive at the door of the vendor knowing what they want. And the way technology is bought and consumed is also changing.

First, some predictions, from Gartner, to keep in the back of your mind: as early as next year, a quarter of all enterprise software sales will be carried out through buyer self-service, up from less than 10% in 2017. By 2021, 65% of SaaS and IaaS spend will go directly through the technology providers or marketplaces, meaning that 40% of the resellers around today will leave the market.

All this means there's going to be some changes as buyers get used to these new go-to-market methods. Many of the sales, marketing and product management practices that technology service providers have relied on will probably not work in this new environment.

And it is on these shifting sands that the channel now finds itself.

The way Forrester Research's Jay McBain puts it, partners are leveraging new platforms in multi-cloud environments and hybrid ecosystems. He says chief marketing officers are now spending more on technology than CIOs, and successful partners are now focussing their efforts on these new buyers.

He also predicts the end of the tiered ‘metal' partner programmes, which only created complexity in the ecosystem and left vendors scratching their heads about how to increase the size of the deals and move these partners up the rankings.

McBain imagines a different world in which partner programmes are ‘wrapped around the customer', with different partner providing different services.

These ‘new partners' are helping the customer navigate their way through this increasingly complex world.

Happy reading.

Matthew Burbidge
Editor
matthew@itweb.co.za

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