The traditional distribution model is losing relevance as more customers opt for solutions that are billed on a recurring basis such as cloud platforms and software as a service.
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That’s the lay of the land according to channel commentator Jay McBain from Forrester research.
But how is this playing out in the local market and what do partners think of distribution and its importance to their business.
CRN 2020 Fast50 number 14 Tech Flow is a data centre specialist based in Sydney and its founder Shah Hardik said distribution was as, if not more relevant than it has ever been.
“I think the engagement with the distributor partners has become extremely involved over the last 18 months," he said.
“We are working in tandem with them on almost every opportunity. There are many projects that we need to deliver where we don't have enough capabilities and we would be heavily relying on those distribution partners.
“They can bring in skills, they can bring in the right people to the table if we need to address the needs brought by the customer.”
For cybersecurity, and software more broadly, there is a different trend emerging as RSM cyber expert Ashwin Pal explains.
“Gone are the days where you could actually, you know, as a vendor or a distie or an SI, you could go in and buy a mate a coffee and you could actually do a deal,” he says.
“You have to add value. So, they now expect you will understand their business, you will actually understand how you can add value to their business.”
“The disties are actually providing support in terms of personnel, so they are now carrying more professional services, stuff that you can lean on. They're carrying more kit, which might sound like a small thing but it is significant”
For Geoff Augutis from Queensland Computers, some distributors are evolving faster than others.
“I think the disties are struggling to adapt at the pace that the markets adapting,” he says.
“I think the fact that they're having to build out teams and grow the services. For a traditional distributor who sells a lot of hardware and ships a lot of boxes and has really complex supply chains, I think the cloud's a little bit tricky for them.”
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