Over the past couple of weeks, I have found myself part of a European team, in discussions with a Nordic partner about how we can help them grow their business. It reflects something we are seeing across Europe, with our channel partners now planning for the economy to pick up and new opportunities to emerge in 2021.
There has been significant upheaval within the IT industry over the past 9 months. And there are still more organisational announcements to come from major vendors in how they are restructuring and refocussing their businesses for growth next year.
Located at the centre of the global IT supply chain, Tech Data is in a fortunate position. Able to look across geographic markets and technology disciplines from the living room to the data centre, Tech Data gets to view the bigger picture when it comes to trends and what’s happening in the technology industry. The mergers, acquisitions, disposals and new partnerships that have taken place during the pandemic show a clear change in strategy and focus.
As a truly global business, employing over 14,000 people across all geographies, Tech Data recognises the power of partnerships, both with our vendors and the wide range of business partners within our ecosystems. In previous articles I have stressed the need for agility and the ability to pivot in the current economic climate. As we move into 2021, the ability to accelerate will distinguish the successful businesses. They will be the ones that were prepared.
Planning now for that acceleration is key. I believe there are 7 areas that partners should consider within their businesses, as they plan for this acceleration.
People – Who are key to their business, without them the business fails or goes backwards?
Product (solution or service) – Do they have a unique selling point (USP), is it niche or generic? Are they reliant on another business for it?
Positioning – Who are they selling to, the identified individuals and who are their competition? Can they articulate their USP?
Pricing – What are their pricing principles? In a world of “as a service”, average contract length and return on investment needs to be a part of the equation.
Place – Is location important? For their people and their customers. Are the Data Centres appropriate, do they have the necessary ISO standards, connectivity, resilience?
Promotion – How are they marketing the service and to who? Why is the business different than the competition?
Partnerships – Can you increase coverage and routes to market by partnering? Does your offering look more complete by adding an innovation, a new managed service? Can you increase offerings via white labelling other skills and services?
These questions are just scratching the surface. Underneath all of these headings is a work item that requires input from across the business and from trusted advisors outside of the business. These might be customers or suppliers who want to see your business grow.
Our Ecosystem programme, working with our teams from the Tech Data Practice Builder and Trusted Advisor programmes, can help partners in planning for growth. We have run over 100 partner workshops across Europe, in partnership with vendors and end users. These help identify both opportunities and barriers to growth, resulting in an agreed action plan.
If this is something you believe Tech Data could help your business with, as you plan for growth next year, please get in touch.