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The Channel Angle: How To Achieve Omni-Channel Success by Harmonizing Vendor Solutions

Kelly Nuckolls of InfoSystems writes that shifting our own mindsets internally is just one way to ‘harmonize solutions in a way that benefits customers and vendors alike.’

[Editor’s note: The Channel Angle is a monthly CRN guest column written by an executive that focuses on the triumphs and challenges that solution providers face. If you are a solution provider executive interested in contributing, please contact managing editor David Harris.]

By Kelly Nuckolls

My company, InfoSystems, has been in business for more than 25 years. That’s a long time for any business, but especially for an IT provider. The technology landscape looks entirely different than it did on day one, and I’d venture to say that new developments emerge at an even more rapid clip than they did in the early days.

It’s no small task to remain abreast of ever-evolving solutions. But with so many viable options on the market, we see it as our responsibility to our customers to select the right technologies that support business goals and yield optimal outcomes.

[Read A Previous Channel Angle Column: On Family Bonding, The Power Of Diversity And Healing In A Challenging Year]

I’d like to share a few steps we have taken as an organization to harmonize solutions in a way that benefits customers and vendors alike.

  • Shifting Our Mindset: Perhaps the most important — yet difficult — step in the process to modernize and harmonize our offerings was to shift our own mindsets internally. We’ve been an IBM infrastructure partner for many, many years, and it’s a comfortable space for us. It can be a challenge to make a significant gear shift in an organization with such a longstanding history, but for InfoSystems, what simplified this effort was truly approaching solutions from a customer-centric perspective.
  • Internally, we follow a “Best Idea Wins” mantra; we essentially adopted the same mindset when it comes to prescribing solutions for our customers. We aim to understand each customer’s business goals and then take a vendor-agnostic approach as we build proposals.
  • Updating Our Service Model: Once upon a time, it was enough to provide best-in-class hardware and service that equipment at regularly scheduled intervals. In today’s business climate, customers need more. We reevaluated and updated programs such as our cybersecurity assessments and other service-based offerings to ensure we had a deep understanding of existing and prospective customers’ business needs.
  • Cultivating Partnerships: When you really think about it, all of our channel partners and competitors are working toward the same goals. Why not create more wins for everyone by partnering together? For us, this has looked like combining calls with two OEMs who offer complementary solutions, rather than holding them separately, or partnering with other IT vendors. When we can all work together to bring a higher level of value to a customer, everyone benefits.

No matter your place in the channel, I truly believe that adopting these principles will bring you nothing but positive momentum in your organization. I am so pleased with the outcomes we’re already seeing not just as an organization, but the industry-wide shift toward adopting an “abundance mindset.” We’re all better together, and I look forward to seeing new partnerships and solutions emerge as we streamline our efforts.

Kelly Nuckolls is vice president of marketing and alliances at InfoSystems, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. With over 15 years of marketing and sales experience in IT, Nuckolls has proven business expertise and a creative aptitude for strategically integrated solutions that increase client and channel awareness and optimize revenue streams for transformative solutions such as automation, cloud and edge computing, cybersecurity and resilience, AI and machine learning. Nuckolls is also active advocate for diversity and equity for women in technology, a California wine aficionado and fan of the Auburn Tigers.

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