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Empowering the channel | ITWeb


Thibault Dousson, GM, Lenovo South Africa.

While it goes with out saying that distributors are all the time concerned about empowering the channel, they’ve actually needed to be on their toes over the previous two years. After all, the channel has had its work reduce out for it in aiding end-users with the sudden and speedy digital evolution required to work remotely. 

Vendors have definitely needed to speed up digital transformation inside the channel during the last two years, says Thibault Dousson, GM at Lenovo South Africa, to ensure that them to extra successfully assist the end-users. 

“The vendors’ role here has been to assist the channel with guidance around the correct technologies to deploy, advise on costs and generally play the role of trusted advisor,” he says.

“Another example of how vendors can empower the channel is through the use of digital training. Not only can they provide virtual training – Lenovo, for example, has already undertaken more than 15 000 such sessions – but the vendor can also help partners pinpoint where certain skills are lacking and where additional training may be required.”

It can be essential to take care of a stage of simplicity of their companion programme, maintaining the boundaries to entry pretty low, to allow better entry. The identical goes for entry to certifications and data – this ought to be made as straightforward as doable, so it’s simply as straightforward for the channel to then promote the seller’s merchandise.

“Furthermore, it falls on the vendor to clearly understand the pain points of both the channel and the end customer, as this will enable them to deliver the best possible service, a variety of relevant competencies and, ultimately, to support their partners in their conversations with end customers. And of course, it should be noted that in the current economy, it is also imperative to empower the channel via competitive pricing of products,” he says.

Since the top purpose for each events is end-user satisfaction, suggests Dousson, distributors ought to moreover search to empower the channel via technical enablement, pre- and post-sales assist, and adherence to service stage agreements.

According to Jim Holland, Regional Director: Africa at Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group, one other approach for distributors to empower the channel is by making certain sufficient inventory presence readily available with a view to ship inventory as quickly as doable.

“So, for example, if the channel services the SADC region, it is incumbent on the vendor to ensure that there is enough stock in country so that there is no delay in waiting for stock to be shipped to South Africa for distribution,” he says.

“It also falls on the vendor to assist the channel in accessing credit and to help it with its financing requirements. A good vendor can provide credit and finance to its partners to enable them to deliver the technologies, solutions and services the end customers demand.”

Holland provides that one other vendor position is to know present traits and to leverage these for achievement, all through the chain.

“If, for example, there is a shift in the way some customers procure solutions, such as switching to desktop as a service, it is our job as vendors to understand what sort of added value we can offer across the product life cycle, and how this can be priced effectively. While no vendor has a crystal ball, we are all in a position to draw learnings from elsewhere in the world in order to develop a successful strategy for SA.”

In conclusion, Dousson notes that in a quickly evolving future, the channel wants distributors which can be profitable, have forward-thinking methods, stability and a powerful set of options and merchandise.

“Such a vendor will be fuelled by innovation, will be constantly seeking new solutions and technologies to improve the channel and should be able to play the role of trusted advisor. This, ultimately, will enable the channel to leverage all of the above to improve not only their, but also their end customers’, businesses.”



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