ChannelVision Magazine

In the study, which surveyed 263 channel partners across 51 countries, just 77 percent of respondents claimed that partner programs are im- portant when evaluating vendor relationships. This is a decrease from 94 percent in 2016. What’s more, 9 percent of respondents sur- veyed this year claimed that partner programs are “not at all important.” Almost a quarter of respon- dents rated programs as lacking importance. Vendors should take this as a warning, Canalys said, to align partners as the market faces disrup- tion from cloud technologies. “Increasingly, the ball is in the channel’s court,” said Alex Smith, senior director of chan- nels research at Canalys. “Partners have more levers to pull. They can provide more of their own services or make new technology vendor partnerships to fulfill specific opportunities. Meanwhile, vendors often change programs to reflect changes in partner business models and to spur loyalty, but such changes can have the unintended consequence of increasing complex- ity, leading to frustration.” Canalys did mention that partner programs will maintain an important role moving forward, as they are crucial for maintaining partner-vendor relationships. To remain competitive, all vendors should consider doing a gut check to ensure their programs are up to date and in touch with partners’ needs and expectations. Top complaints Top complaints about vendor IT programs include programs that lack consistency (16 per- cent); certifications and specializations that are too complex (15 percent); too many partners in the program (14 percent); discount/rebate programs that are too complex (11 percent); and too much administration required (10 percent). Meanwhile, partners we reached out to brought up some additional pain points that weren’t men- tioned in the study. By Gerald Baldino Get with the Program T here is a growing disconnect between partners and IT vendor programs. At least that’s evidenced in a recent benchmark study from Canalys. Partner, vendor disconnects channel management Channel Vision | September - October, 2018 58