Channel programs News
The 10 Top IT Channel News Stories Of 2020
Joseph F. Kovar
For good or for bad, 2020 saw the channel step into the limelight in a way it hadn’t before as clients found themselves dependent on solution providers as they looked for flexibility in dealing with a global pandemic, cybersecurity attacks, and more.
4. COVID-19: Massive Impact On The Channel And Its Clients
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the channel and the technology solutions it builds into the limelight as many customers scrambled to support a surge in work- and learn-from-home needs. And that led to a huge new dependence on their solution providers for help support a dispersed workforce with new IT equipment, new ways to collaborate remotely, and new ways to secure company data and operations.
The COVID-19 pandemic also led to massive changes in how channel partners ran their own businesses. For solution providers, that meant such moves as relearning to sell commodity hardware to clients who all of a sudden needed new laptops for their customers and pushing more heavily into as-a-service offerings to customers now working remotely.
Solution providers also saw massive changes in their own operations. The biggest disruption was learning to deploy new services and equipment, both for clients and for themselves, with minimal on-site presence in order to reduce the chance of technicians becoming infected. Channel partners also had to learn new ways to sell their solutions and services with the help of Zoom or Microsoft Teams, and especially with DocuSign. And, in an effort to stay afloat and keep employees working, they had to learn how to navigate government and bank red tape to take advantage of programs including the PPP, or Paycheck Protection Program.
Along the way, a bevy of technology vendors and distributors stepped up with flexible financing, incentives and other strategies to help partners push through the uncertainty.