Survey: Channel Partners Critical to Growing SaaS, Cloud Market

As the world moves inexorably towards ubiquitous mobility and cloud-delivered communications and services, new research has revealed that a majority of software-as-a-service vendors consider channel partners as strategically important to growing revenue.

A full 66 percent of companies in a survey by Forrester Consulting (conducted on behalf of Avangate) consider VARs, resellers and other channel partners as having a critical role in growing the market for SaaS and cloud services.

“More than one-quarter of [end user] firms are centralizing the procurement and management of SaaS cloud applications,” Forrester found. “Consequently, these firms are changing their sourcing strategy, looking to solution partners who can supply and centrally manage the entire end-to-end SaaS portfolio.”

The study accordingly forecasts a shift of the revenue mix between direct and indirect channels in the future, with prioritized technology investments on the part of suppliers to support channels and equip them to build long-term relationships with end-customers.

“To ensure the continued growth and long-term sustainability of the partner channel, [independent software vendors] must invest in new technology to ensure that partners are equipped to self-serve their own customers and build long-term relationships,” Forrester noted.

The results of the Forrester survey illustrate how channels are more important than ever in today’s highly competitive market, according to Michael Ni, CMO and senior vice president of marketing and products at Avangate.

“As both selling online and cloud-based services have become ubiquitous, a common misconception is that the value of having channel resellers falls,” said Ni. “The reality is that in a world of easy discoverability, reseller channels actually drive the trust, context and value-added services that ultimately sustain revenue growth.”

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