This IDC Market Presentation discusses recent research that asked North American channel partners about their use of distributors. The results demonstrated the importance of the services that distributors provide to the channel. Distributor services enable the channel to seamlessly deliver multivendor solutions in a recurring revenue, operating expense (opex) model using its own solution architectures.
In today's highly competitive environment, business leaders from all industries and markets are looking to technology to help them differentiate and be more competitive. Channel partners become increasingly important as customers look to them to provide customers with bespoke solutions that deliver the specific outcomes that businesses and IT desire.
To do this, solutions typically utilize multiple vendors' products. Also, customers want the solutions to be billed as a service on a monthly or quarterly usage-based model. These customer demands can be very complex for channel partners to execute, unless they are big and have a sophisticated ERP system. The simplest approach is to buy through distributor marketplaces, where they get a single invoice on a monthly basis sent to their customers for their own designed and specified solutions. These invoices are branded with the partner's name and logo and released by the partner after review and approval. Even some of the biggest global system integrators (GSIs) are looking to distribution to simplify the billing of their complex solution.