Many channel organisations are being impeded in their efforts to move toward Cloud-based professional services, reinforcing the importance of flexible and accessible vendor programs in the channel's evolution towards successful professional services delivery, according to networking vendor, Brocade.
In the company's new research, The Brocade Channel 2020: Global Survey (2012) which surveyed 532 respondents worldwide, it found that in addition to direct competition, channel organisation's professional services ambitions are being restricted by a lack of innovative vendor solutions, overly complex programs and proprietary vendor technologies.
Statistics showed that almost half of the respondents expect professional services to become their main revenue generator by 2020. Yet, for the majority of respondents, professional services accounts for 25 per cent or less of revenues today.
"Revenue focused channel programs, combined with differentiated technology solutions, flexible financing solutions, and tools and resources that help channel develop their reputation as consultants, will all become increasingly critical to developing competitive consultancy businesses," Brocade senior vice-president of worldwide sales, Regan McGrath, said.
The research also revealed that the growing customer demand for professional services was the biggest customer challenge. Only 11 per cent of respondents currently look to their vendors for innovative finance solutions and 19 per cent for marketing funding.
McGrath claimed that to compete in the professional services sector, channel organisations need to consider these critical questions:
If their vendors' strategies, vision, and approaches to technology design support or impede their ability to maximise any professional services and support revenue opportunities?
If their vendors compete with them for professional services opportunities?
Do their vendors provide value through genuine technology differentiation?
Do they provide finance solutions that address customers' CapEX investment restrictions?
And if they provide marketing enablement, access to expertise and tools that help the channel build their brand?