Here’s Where 20 Channel Chiefs Want Partners To Invest In 2024

Channel executives on the CRN 2024 Channel Chiefs list were asked in what areas they would most like to see their channel partners invest in 2024. Here’s what 20 channel chiefs had to say.

Resource Allocation

Solution providers must constantly decide how and where to invest their resources around the products and services they offer, the IT vendors they work with, the markets they target, and the training and skill sets their employees need – all in a rapidly evolving IT industry. Who, for example, would have invested heavily in AI just 18 months ago?

That’s where channel executives and the partner programs they operate can help, providing partners with guidance and resources to help them make those decisions and follow through on execution.

As part of the CRN Channel Chiefs 2024 project, we asked the more than 560 channel executives that made the list to tell us where they would like to see their channel partners invest in 2024, whether in new technologies, new services and practices, or new skills and training. Here’s what 20 had to say.

Amazon Web Services

Ruba Borno

VP, Worldwide Channels & Alliances

Training and certification: Investing in the training and skills to develop expertise for partners to help customers achieve their cloud goals continues to be critical. Research from Canalys shows that 83 percent of customers polled rank AWS specializations as the top three selection criteria for partners. AWS Marketplace: Forrester Consulting found that partners who build and scale an AWS Marketplace practice can realize 234 percent ROI, 50 percent faster deal closure, and 5X richer deal sizes. Our vision is to make AWS Marketplace the preferred route to market for global customers to find, buy, manage, and deploy third-party software, data, and professional services.

Arctic Wolf

Bob Skelley

VP, Channel Strategy, Programs and Development

Successful partners will expand and evolve their security portfolio, fill gaps in their customer's security posture and provide solutions that others cannot. Second, partners that continue to grow their subscription services portfolio and realize the benefits of recurring revenue will outperform those who do not. We would also like to see our partners invest in education and enablement around our partner sales training program, which includes solutions like MDR, security awareness and role-based sales, technical and MSP training. In doing so, they will be equipped to bring robust security solutions to the clients.

Cisco Systems

Rodney Clark

Senior VP, Partnerships and Small & Medium Business

It's important for partners to transform their business models to include more software and services-based recurring revenue and continue to invest in areas that have high growth potential, like managed services, SMB, and cloud marketplaces. Our managed services are intentionally partner-led and remain a pivotal growth avenue for Cisco partners. Partners can also capture growth from the SMB segment by taking advantage of our new low-touch, scalable partner-ready managed offers right-sized for SMBs. In addition, partners will increasingly need to focus on sustainability as well as expanding their go-to-market strategies to include more multi-partner and cloud marketplace engagements.


Michael Rogers

VP, Global Alliances & Channel Chief

Customers are moving from siloed products and many legacy SIEM vendors are struggling to compete, creating demand for next generation SIEM. Cloud security: Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP) is an emerging market. CNAPP solutions must take an adversary-focused approach and provide visibility, run-time protection, simplicity and performance to stop cloud breaches. Efficiency and maturity [is needed] to give the customer a frictionless, seamless experience between vendor and partner. This includes tools, controls and processes to manage the customer lifecycle, and marketplaces, subscription management and marketing automation.


Peter Miesen

Senior Director of Channel Sales

I'd like to see our channel partners invest in digital marketing and content. More than 60 percent of buying decisions are made BEFORE a customer contacts a vendor. This means the digital footprint of our partners and the accuracy of their product information is more important than ever. We have the tools for partners to get information on products and promotions through product information syndication platforms and our partner portal to address this challenge.

D&H Distributing

Jason Bystrak

Senior VP, Modern Solutions

We're looking for partners to continue to embrace digital transformation and the new delivery methods that are available for technology consumption, such as cloud and XaaS. Digital transformation has provided D&H an opportunity to redefine the value we provide to our channel partners through our Modern Solutions Business Unit. We also maintain digital automation platforms such as the D&H Cloud Marketplace, XaaS Configuration Tool, and Cisco Partner Enablement (CPE) platform, and [offer] expanded access to programs such as SuccessPath to help partners evolve their business models and transition to flexible financing models to support subscription and consumption-based delivery models.

Dell Technologies

Cheryl Cook

Senior VP, Global Partner Marketing

Partners still need to fast track the digital transformation in their own businesses, transforming to a hybrid, on-prem and aaS [as-a-service] sales and deployment organization. They need to institute recurring revenue models, billing and metering capabilities. They need to invest in revenue systems, marketing automation and people training to successfully accomplish this. Digital transformation is truly changing the essence of how partners operate today, their company DNA, as well as marrying employees with technology to create that "breakthrough" needed to adopt and embrace the change.

Dynabook Americas

James Robbins

General Manager

We anticipate our channel partners will make significant investments to deepen their expansion into the education market to address the looming Windows 11 transition.


Melissa McCoy

VP, Channel Sales

Companies are accelerating their shift to the cloud for better performance, predictability and security, which allows them to redirect resources and focus on their core business. The private cloud market alone is set to grow to over $600 billion by 2030 (28 percent CAGR). This shift creates an opportunity for partners to become experts in cloud/as-a-service offerings and be consultants to their customers in developing a hybrid IT strategy.

Google Cloud

Kevin Ichhpurani

VP, Global Partner Ecosystem & Channels

Develop deep AI expertise. AI will continue to present tremendous opportunities for our partners and all our partners should become AI experts. Continue supporting customers' broad digital transformations. While customers are very excited about generative AI, they aren't slowing down their other digital transformation projects. Finally, I would encourage our partners to get even more engaged with our growing tools and resources to help them deliver great experiences to customers. For example: the Delivery Readiness Index and the Gen AI Partner Initiative

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Ulrich Seibold

VP, Worldwide HPE GreenLake Partner & Service Provider Service Sales

Building Services and Intellectual Property around the HPE Cloud Services. Transform partner employees to be able to position business outcomes and related hybrid cloud management services, not just products. Build up MSP/CSP capabilities and deploy services above the infrastructure layers.

HP Inc.

Scott Lannum

VP and General Manager, North America Commercial Channel Sales

As the pace of change continues to accelerate, our partners can invest in many different areas to drive growth in the coming year. Hybrid is hot and demands customized solutions that deliver personalized experiences combined with security, collaboration, and productivity to support customers no matter where they work. I also see huge growth opportunities in services, software, and supplies. And in print, there's strong growth potential with managed contracts or subscriptions, along with management tools to reduce service and support costs.


Jessica Degenhardt

Senior Director, Americas Channel

More SaaS application support. There are too many SaaS applications that remain unprotected. Certifications and training with vendors. Take advantage of what companies like HYCU have to offer in the programs they provide. Joint marketing and event initiatives where companies like HYCU can provide education and training to key partner executives and their customers.


Jason Kimrey

VP, Americas Channel & Partners

1. AI strategy, sales, and implementation: We would love to see our channel partners invest in growing their businesses in AI. Intel is uniquely positioned to help partners that are looking to harness the power of AI to ultimately grow business. 2. Cost and performance optimization in the cloud.


Nina Harding

Corporate VP, Americas, Global Partner Solutions

In 2024 we want our channel partners to focus on leveraging the strength and power of artificial intelligence to develop deeper specializations and expand the innovation offerings our mutual customers need. We are seeing momentum in partners bolstering their expertise and advancing workloads with a special emphasis on security and data and analytics. The partners with advanced capabilities in AI are able to guide customers through migration, security, data and analytics projects to harness the power of AI for transformation and higher achievement.


David Weeks

VP of Partner Experience

Investing in sales and marketing strategies will continue to be an important growth factor for MSPs to improve their lead gen[eration] efforts and overall profitability. MSPs should be educating the market on how their services can help. They should also be moving to – and providing services within – the cloud to help solve key issues: greater security, better productivity, increased flexibility, more scalability, reduced costs, and increased optimization. Another important area is M&A activity: MSPs should look at preparing their business for investment (whether selling or buying) and creating the best services practice to make their business more attractive.


Karl Fahrbach

Chief Partner Officer

1. Embrace customer value journey: Partners look at the customer relationship holistically and deliver at every step of the journey, going beyond the sale to boost adoption and use. 2. Competency and capacity building: Transforming businesses requires a skilled workforce. Building skills takes education and certification. We encourage partners to leverage our learning and enablement offerings and changes to our Competency Framework in 2024. 3. Develop intellectual property: Building IP on [the] SAP Business Technology Platform gives partners the opportunity to scale their business, set themselves apart from the competition, and create new and recurring revenue streams and higher-margin offerings.


Eric Torres

VP of Channel

Security is a top-of-mind priority for providers worldwide. As threats continue to rise, compliance regulations evolve in tandem, bolstering protection for businesses and critical infrastructures. This presents increased opportunities for providers to enhance and expand their compliance-as-a-service offerings, all the while aiding in risk management and mitigation.


Kendra Krause

Senior VP, Global Channels and Small Business Sales

In 2024 channel partners should prioritize investments in managed services. The marketplace, particularly in the SMB sector, has a substantial demand for managed services. It is imperative for channel partners to embrace this approach and extend their offerings to include flexible billing and financing options, while providing customers with positive outcomes. By doing so, they can facilitate easier access to robust security solutions and remain adaptable and responsive to the evolving security landscape. Investing in the customer's lifecycle goes hand-in-hand with delivering managed services.


Gretchen O’Hara

Channel Chief & VP, Worldwide Channels & Alliances

2024 is the year of AI. Splunk has leveraged analytics and AI from the beginning and now will expand with generative AI capabilities. Our partner ecosystem will need to continue to build skills and capabilities that combine unified security and observability with a platform to conquer unique customer challenges with baked-in and extensible AI. As more customers move to the cloud digital resiliency is a top priority and partners have a large opportunity with Splunk to focus on security and digital resiliency at scale. A growing market for observability, our partners will focus on expanded observability offerings to Dev/SecOps.