For more than 30 years, global technology provider and specialist distributor Westcon-Comstor combined its industry insights and technical expertise to be catalystic for the success of vendors and partners alike. Westcon-Comstor’s mission is to create value in distribution to drive business, improve its channel, and invest in innovations for the future.
Recently, Westcon-Comstor published a report titled “Navigating the Shift: The Role of Distributor Marketplaces in Partner Success” that was conducted over a three-month period (i.e. December 2022 to March). The report explores challenges found amongst shifting business models and the market as a whole, examining micro-sized channel changes as well as macroeconomic factors in widescale distributor marketplaces.
Here are the long story short takeaways from Westcon-Comstor’s report:
- Perhaps the biggest point for consideration is that, when facing challenging environments that necessitate deliberate actions towards growth, only 21% of the report’s respondents claimed to have actioned as much as was deemed possible, in terms of their respective migrations to subscriptions, recurring revenue models, and XaaS. This labels the staggering majority (78%) as either only part of the way towards realizing full migrations, or not even on that path yet. Sadly, this represents neither the type of business dynamism nor the agility necessary to keep up with modern change.
- More than half of respondents cited that another big challenge to face was the need to manage a complex, multi-vendor portfolio. Single-vendor options can be convenient in the short-term, but potentially more restrictive in the long-term (depending on who’s working with whom).
- 60% of channel partners believe that a distributor marketplace to buy software and hardware from would accelerate their shifts. Yet, less than half have done so.
- Businesses that have started using said distributor marketplaces claim that the top advantages are self-serve stock availability (49%), online ordering (49%) and pricing (42%).
That last point is quite illuminating; distributor marketplaces have a huge opportunity on their hands. By offering richer sets of subscriptions and services, more successes can be had. After all, per Westcon-Comstor, 55% of respondents are actively interested in better accessing customer data, 39% in market data, and 46% in customer training.
“We all know how important the evolutions of marketplaces, e-commerce, and digital interfaces have become,” said Patrick Aronson, CMO, Westcon-Comstor. “Partners that are keen to modernize and embrace recurring revenue and subscription models need the right marketplace solutions. Those who haven’t yet hopped on that train will likely see the need to do so, and soon. Either way, demands for capability and flexibility must be continually answered.
Edited by Greg Tavarez