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The Margin Q3 2019

The Margin Q3 2019

Gazing out over the open plan office andhis staff occupying themselves with thebusiness of selling, the country manager of alarge software vendor in South Africa put itlike this: “Everyone, including me, is chasinga number”.

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Selling technology appears to be gettingharder, and the buyers are nowadays moreinformed and will arrive at the door of thevendor knowing what they want. And theway technology is bought and consumed isalso changing.

First, some predictions, from Gartner,to keep in the back of your mind: as earlyas next year, a quarter of all enterprisesoftware sales will be carried out throughbuyer self-service, up from less than 10%in 2017. By 2021, 65% of SaaS and IaaSspend will go directly through the technologyproviders or marketplaces, meaning that40% of the resellers around today will leavethe market.

All this means there’s going to be somechanges as buyers get used to thesenew go-to-market methods. Many of thesales, marketing and product managementpractices that technology service providershave relied on will probably not work in thisnew environment.

And it is on these shifting sands that thechannel now finds itself.

The way Forrester Research’s JayMcBain puts it, partners are leveragingnew platforms in multi-cloud environmentsand hybrid ecosystems. He says chiefmarketing officers are now spending moreon technology than CIOs, and successfulpartners are now focussing their efforts onthese new buyers.

He also predicts the end of the tiered‘metal’ partner programmes, which onlycreated complexity in the ecosystem andleft vendors scratching their heads abouthow to increase the size of the deals andmove these partners up the rankings.

McBain imagines a different world inwhich partner programmes are ‘wrappedaround the customer’, with different partnerproviding different services.

These ‘new partners’ are helping thecustomer navigate their way through thisincreasingly complex world.

Happy reading.

Matthew Burbidge
Editor
matthew@itweb.co.za



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