How Vendors Are Supporting Partners with COVID-19 Relief

By | Managed Services News

Apr 08

A growing number of vendors and distributors have initiatives for partners during the pandemic.

A growing number of IT vendors are offering COVID-19 relief measures to help support partner businesses during the pandemic. With the coronavirus placing extraordinary pressure and uncertainty on the channel, vendors are stepping with initiatives to help. Those include offering financial incentives, extending certifications or providing free training during this period.

Canalys' Alastair Edwards

Canalys’ Alastair Edwards

“As we move into the period of much greater uncertainty around demand, we expect to see much greater emphasis on financial support – adjusted targets, simplified incentives, extended payment terms, low-cost financing – to help with intensifying cashflow pressures,” said Alastair Edwards, chief analyst at Canalys.

Last week, for example, HP announced a more predicable flat-rate incentive program for partners. In addition, the tech giant relaxed compensation models for those needing COVID-19 relief. Elsewhere, Lenovo unveiled a new partner stimulus package for the channel. And Microsoft revealed a series of adjustments to the Microsoft Partner Network in response to partner feedback.

Meanwhile, Kaseya said it is investing $10.5 million to help customers through COVID-19. The MSP software vendor launched its Kaseya Care programme, which includes helping partners secure money from government relief programs. It also includes business coaching and consulting to help acquire, retain and service customers during the pandemic. Partners can get direct financial assistance from Kaseya, too.

“Our partners are facing many of the same challenges as most businesses around the world – the health and safety of their workers, trying to avoid layoffs and still pay salaries [and] benefits, customer attrition due to global cost-cutting measures, and much more,” said Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola. “On top of that, MSPs must now play a more critical role than ever before in helping their customers maintain IT operations in order to stay in business and to do so with proper security measures in place so that their customers aren’t exposed to heightened cybersecurity risks during this volatile time.”

Distribution Playing a Part in COVID-19 Relief

However, Edwards noted that distribution has been faster at providing extended credit to the channel. Distributors play a key role in providing financial support to the channel. One of the first to announce assistance for partners in the U.K. was Exclusive Networks, which launched a partner support package. It aims “to assist efforts to continue business on a sustainable basis.”

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary actions and we’re doing everything we can to support our partners through these tough trading conditions,” said Barrie Desmond, SVP, marketing and communications at Exclusive Networks.

“The launch of our partner support package provides partners with assistance to alleviate supply chain pressure, access supplementary technical support capacity, consolidation of multiple vendor solutions and offers, and advice on finance and currency volatility to support them through tough trading conditions ahead … Keeping the lights on now and preparing to sustain partner businesses during this crazy time is critical, so we’re offering any assistance we can in terms of business continuity and stability.”

Tech Data's David Watts

Tech Data’s David Watts

Elsewhere, Tech Data has said it will work closely with its customers to determine the right credit and payment solutions.

“The ability of IT distributors to provide channel partners with financial support is more important than ever to enable them to maintain their product supply and serve their customers,” said David Watts, regional VP, U.K. & Ireland at Tech Data.

“Having seen an increase in support requests relating to credit, Tech Data currently extends over £1.8 billion of credit to …

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