New results from annual CONTEXT ChannelWatch study underscore how channel companies pivoted to the cloud in 2020. It also showed that in spite of some supply chain issues due to pandemic effects and raised consumer demand for certain items, the two tier model worked well for customers.
CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company, polled more than 7,000 channel partners, and found the number of resellers that provide cloud technology solutions to their clients jumped sharply in 2020 compared to 2019. In particular, the percentage of ICT channel companies that implemented cloud back-up, disaster recovery and storage solutions in 2020 increased to 70% in 2020 compared 44% in 2019.
“The results found in our ChannelWatch 2020 report are proof of the acceleration toward digital and XaaS solutions among channel companies,” said Adam Simon, Global Managing Director at CONTEXT. “The big difference in the last two years is the number of resellers that sell more than three services than a few years ago.”
In addition to a greater embrace of cloud digital innovations, the ChannelWatch 2020 report also probed ICT channel companies on their perceptions and engagement with ICT products and services distributors. In 2020, the perceived quality of distributors, for example, increased in nearly every category measured by CONTEXT. This includes billing and other cloud services, field support, training and certification and lead generation.
“Each year, the results of the ChannelWatch report provide distribution companies invaluable information about reseller purchasing decisions and intentions, needs and challenges,” said Frank Vitagliano (pictured), CEO of the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC), a CONTEXT partner. “That channel companies increased their opinion of distributors during the pandemic is no surprise to the GTDC, which tracked how members fortified their supply chains, expanded their cloud capabilities and increased the marketing and financing support provided to channel companies last year.”
When asked about the support they need from distributors to be successful at selling and delivering technology as-a-service in 2021, 55% percent of study participants said “training and education”—more than any other category. Marketing was named by 40% of those surveyed, followed by financial support (35%) and sales assistance (34%).