Post-Pandemic Partnerships: How to Build Resilient Channel Services

By | Managed Services News

May 17

Build strategic resilience to thrive post-pandemic with service offerings and agile support.

Nutanix's Christian Alvarez

Christian Alvarez

The pandemic has created a widening gap between the businesses that are falling behind and those that are breaking away from the pack with resilient, future-proofed business models. For the channel, it’s critical to be aligned with this group of industry leaders and innovators, but simply partnering with them isn’t enough. Channel leaders need to ensure their own business models are future-proofed.

Post-COVID, strategic partnerships will be about strategic resilience: what McKinsey defines as an organization’s resistance to disruption. Partnerships have always been a cornerstone of success, but it’s important now to rethink your approach to ensure you are best positioned for resilience in a post-pandemic future.

Build Strategic Resilience

When it comes to resilience for the channel, it is no longer just about products — it’s about services. Channel leaders who focus on enhancing and expanding their professional services offerings will provide more opportunities for partner growth and customer relationship building, both of which have a direct, positive impact on resilience. Here are key considerations for building up your services offerings to build strategic resilience.

Provide a road map to deploying and maintaining emerging technologies. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella put it at the start of the pandemic, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” The pandemic accelerated new waves of technology like hybrid cloud architecture, 5G, machine learning, edge computing and more. While this is a good thing for overall innovation, it can be challenging for partners and customers who need to navigate the rapidly changing landscape.

That’s where services come in. Channel leaders should leverage services to support channel partners in embracing the tools that will future-proof not only their customers but also their business model. There is opportunity to consider new avenues of advancing partners’ curriculums and preparing them for the next wave of technology to open up a larger total addressable market. It’s helpful to have an end-to-end blueprint that enables partners to ensure the best possible customer experience for new technology solutions. This might include executive workshops and training with experienced consultants who can walk through every stage of implementation, from deployment to scaling.

Think about how to improve “time to value” for new offerings. Customers don’t just need the latest technologies and solutions — they need technologies and solutions that work right now. Customer demands changed rapidly during the pandemic, and the most successful businesses were able to pivot overnight to offer new solutions. For example, restaurants shifted to contactless pickup and hospitals offered telehealth services, both of which demanded instant IT infrastructure changes.

Channel leaders play an essential role in speeding availability to the end-user. When delivering new offerings, increasing speed is paramount. Channel leaders need to focus on operational efficiencies, reducing quote to cash so that time to revenue and time to value is shortened for partners and their customers. For instance, the process to deploy virtual desktop infrastructure historically took months — but customers now demand deployment in days. Channel leaders can respond to the need for speed by …

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