Here’s Where 20 Channel Chiefs Would Like To See Partners Invest In 2023
Channel executives on the CRN 2023 Channel Chiefs list were asked in what areas they would most like to see their channel partners invest in 2023. Here’s what 20 channel chiefs had to say.
Given the nature of the rapidly evolving IT industry, solution providers are constantly having to recalibrate where they need to invest their resources around the products and services they offer, the IT vendors they work with, the markets they target, the training and skill sets their employees need, and so on.
That’s where successful channel executives and the partner programs they operate can help, providing partners with expertise and resources to help them make those decisions and follow through on execution.
As part of the CRN Channel Chiefs 2023 project, we asked the nearly 600 channel executives that made the list to tell us where they would like to see channel partners invest in 2023, whether in new technologies, new service offerings, or new skills and training. Here’s what 20 had to say.
Amazon Web Services
VP, Worldwide Channels and Alliances
I’d like to see partners continue investing in customer outcomes: Those who do so and broaden their value-exchange with customers have the largest opportunity and see higher ROI. Training and certification: Investing in cloud skills to succeed and remaining competitive is important and beneficial for the workforce today and tomorrow. AWS Marketplace: Canalys predicts [that] by 2025 cloud marketplaces will grow to over $45 billion (double our pre-pandemic forecast) and represent an 84 percent CAGR. Our vision is to make AWS Marketplace the most efficient, automated and economical place for customers to find, buy, manage and deploy third-party software, data and professional services.
VP, Global Enterprise, Commercial, Partner Sales
Partners should focus on increased presence in local geographies. They should find a lane where they can be successful and focus there. For instance, if you’re great at SMB in France, with feet on the street, then focus there and excel. Partners should play into their expertise and do what they do best—what they can do better than us for the customers—and be the best at doing it. Specialization is key. We’re looking for highly technical soup-to-nuts partners who provide value to their customers and own the customer outcome.
SVP, Sales, Marketing
I’d like to see our channel partners invest in promoting connectivity without boundaries. It took 10 years and a pandemic for businesses to migrate to the cloud. Now, partners need to be focused on enabling them to do business anywhere. That’s the final frontier.
SVP, Commercial Sales
We’d like to see our partners continue to invest in new delivery models such as XaaS (Everything-as-a-Service) and DaaS (Devices-as-a-Service) to accommodate the new ways that businesses and organizations are consuming technology. Our focus will broaden toward creating opportunities to easily attach lucrative services to hardware installations, creating comprehensive, turnkey deployments.
Global Channel Chief
Innovation will be the theme for 2023 [and] preparing for what’s next. Work-from-anywhere is here to stay, multi-cloud and as-a-service will continue to evolve, and these will push the envelope of edge solutions. The growth of edge and cloud solutions increases the threat radius for customers and our partners must be prepared to deliver cybersecurity solutions that scale to the need so their customers are prepared to respond to cyberthreats. Additionally, we want to help partners invest more in ESG [environmental, social and governance]. Through our partner program, partners can apply MDF toward ESG initiatives and leverage our channel-dedicated ESG resources.
SVP, Worldwide Partnerships
Invest in the development of a modern governance practice that brings together audit, risk, compliance, governance and sustainability. Partners have a unique capability to advise, integrate, implement and support, and we can use that to transform how companies work with governance.
Corporate VP, Global Ecosystems, Channels
It is critical that partners continue to build deep expertise in cloud. Google Cloud partners are doubling down on this, earning more certifications, specializations and expertises than ever before. These investments are enabling our partners to deliver significant value to customers, which is more important than ever. In particular partners need to double down on areas like data analytics, cybersecurity, AI and ML, where they have a very large opportunity to support customers’ needs.
SVP, Strategic Partners, Alliances
I would love to see our partners invest in learning to expand their knowledge and capabilities and in marketing—all around hot areas of opportunity: hybrid cloud, data resiliency and sustainability,
SVP, GM, Global Channel Organization
We continue to see trends around hybrid, subscriptions and sustainability shape the market. We are now at a crossroads where these trends are becoming table stakes for our partners and their customers. For instance, there are an estimated 90 million meeting rooms today, but research suggests less than 10 percent of them have video capability. These trends all play to HP’s strengths and our top priority is making sure we’re using the state of the landscape to deliver for our partners. Partners who continue to invest in these areas will come out on top.
VP, Sales, Marketing, Communications Group; GM Global Partners, Support
We would love to see our channel partners invest in growing their businesses in the following areas, what we call the five superpowers: compute, pervasive connectivity, cloud-to-edge infrastructure, artificial intelligence and sensing. These are five areas where we especially foresee big changes not only in the ever-evolving technology landscape, but the world. Intel lives at the nexus of these, uniquely positioning us to help partners that are looking to harness any and all of the superpowers to ultimately grow business.
Director, U.S. Channel
Investment in the cloud has been growing steadily over the years, but I think it’s important for partners to invest in solutions that are truly agnostic. Customers want freedom of choice and it’s important for partners to give them the flexibility to run their workloads wherever it makes the most sense. Partners should be investing in technologies that can be run anywhere and everywhere because Hybrid IT is the new norm. Organizations will leverage a best-of-breed approach to EUC [end-user computing] that will utilize multiple technologies—partners should make it as easy as possible for their customers to consume them.
VP, Partner Experience
The personal and professional development of their team and their customers is playing an increasingly important role in an MSP’s success. We are enabling our channel partners to really own their future and the cloud by building a service stack that gives their customers an effective, standardized and scalable way to manage the various SaaS applications and get a better handle on SaaS sprawl. Build up economic resiliency. Stepping up your approach to the business fundamentals and defining your ‘why’ for your team and your customers will only elevate your game and increase your value.
GVP, Channel Sales, Alliances
Expanding the talent pool by hiring and training new consultants from outside the NetSuite ecosystem, particularly focusing on new college grads. Matching our investments in accelerating our land-and-expand strategy by adding account management resources to address customer business needs for efficiency, cost savings and revenue growth.
Investing in upskilling [and] channel best-practice enablement is one area I’d like to see channel partners make investments in 2023. This means not only education in new technology and capabilities like security but also utilizing peer groups to fast-track learning and avoid past mistakes made by others. Also would like to see channel partners utilize data analytics to assist with improved and faster decision-making. Pax8 is investing in machine learning and advanced data analytics to help partners find the next logical products for their customers. Not investing in these tools will leave partners behind those that do.
SVP, Global Partner Sales
The skills, training and resources to sell integrated unified communications and contact center solutions. The industry is moving toward consolidating disparate systems and combining UCaaS and CCaaS boosts employee productivity and saves companies money. Only RingCentral combines industry leading UC+CC integration, from one vendor, on one bill. We offer the marketing assets, sales training and subject matter experts to help partners capitalize on this trend. Deals involving UC+CC tend to have a higher TCV, lower churn, and greater customer ROI, so partners who specialize in this space are primed for success.
We have had many conversations with partners over the past year around sustainability—what it means, what are the opportunities, challenges and how we can collaborate on solutions. We believe that sustainability will be an important area for our channel partners to invest in and focus on in 2023, both in their own organizations and for their customers. The focus on life-cycle sustainability will only continue to gain importance in the channel as customers demand it.
SVP, Worldwide Partners, Alliances
Services partners should invest in building out their practices of certified individuals, streamline their co-sell motion with Snowflake sales, and accelerate customer adoption through migration and professional services. Tech partners should invest in deeper integrations that leverage new capabilities like Snowpark Python and native applications to create an even more powerful ‘better together’ story with Snowflake. Data partners should continue to scale their marketplace listing and datasets as well as the number of customers leveraging those data sets for insights. Powered by Snowflake partners should continue to build customer-facing applications that were never before possible before Snowflake.
SVP, Global Channels, Sales Operations
With cyberthreats increasing in volume, complexity and impact, it’s crucial for channel partners to invest in fully managed, industry-best security services. Partners should work with vendors that enable them to start or expand their security services with tools, training and service offerings. As a result, they’ll be better equipped to build, grow and differentiate their businesses through delivering better security outcomes for their customers.
I would like to see more channel partners focus on complete solutions that may involve one or more vendors rather than pushing point products. Understanding the customer’s environment and how the tools work together will ultimately provide better security, as well as better relationships.
Sr. Director, North America Channels
Partner resources related to application security and their own path forward in this space. It is important [for] partners start to build a recommended template around DevSecOps design so they can reduce the support, licensing and vendor complexity around providing a solution for their customers. This will allow them to move beyond managing the solution architecture they inherit and toward a real manageable solution for their clients. Partners also need to invest in application security training for their sales reps— most partner security sales representatives are not well equipped to sell into this space.