The Channel is Changing: We Need Better Analytics to Survive

Guest blogger Alexandre Mesguich, VP Enterprise Research, CONTEXT, highlights the changing times in the Channel and how increased Analytics will be the key.

There’s no doubt that traditional forms of IT are changing. In the storage and networking market, for example, end user organisations are used to paying huge sums for hardware-based proprietary kit. But while the demand is still there – fuelled by exponential growth in data and those various oft-quoted trends of big data, social, mobile and cloud – CIOs are no longer keen to spend so recklessly on monolithic hardware.

The likes of EMC, Cisco and others know that their traditional sources of revenue are drying up as disruptive players like HP point to a new way of doing things: a software-defined way. In this context, hardware becomes commoditised as the competitive differentiator shifts to the management software layer sitting on top. Suddenly it’s not all about proprietary hardware any more, it’s about more efficient converged systems and standards-based, software-controlled hardware.

As the environment itself gets more and more complex, the picture becomes more blurred. This is when effective supply chain analytics really come into their own.

The key is to determine whether you’re working with the right distributors, resellers and vendors. Are they producing innovative products?  Are they offering well thought out and innovative packages of services to wrap around those products?  The right analytics tools can play an important part here. These tools should help you get smarter about analysing your performance, understanding your competition – how they approach the market etc. With this kind of insight you should be able to determine if you’re heading in the right direction, and how long it might take to get there as well as how you can adapt your channel business to cope with a more complex, uncertain industry.

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