Monday Morning Impact – May 21

Published On: May 21, 2018Categories: Buzz, Uncategorized

Report Cites Operational Efficiency Challenges in Channel

As channel partners continue to shift their focus towards service-centric business models, they are finding complex operational challenges that affect the bottom lines, according to a recent research report.

In a survey of 400 US-based IT firms conducted by CompTIA, an industry association based in suburban Chicago, 45 percent said that business operations have become more complex than they were just two years ago.

Among the key factors, 53 percent of respondents said they have more streams of data to manage and analyze. About half cite expansions into new business lines and models; the introduction of emerging technologies into their portfolios; and customer engagement as other main contributors. Just 20 percent of surveyed firms assess the current state of their operations as very efficient. Another 39 percent consider themselves to be mostly efficient.

“How well, or how poorly you run your business has a direct impact on your profit margin,” said Carolyn April, senior director of industry analysis, at CompTIA. “If you’re captaining a leaky ship, it may be the difference between a 10 percent margin and a 25 percent margin for the year.”

The number of firms that reported experiencing a high-degree of business transformation nearly doubled between 2013 and 2017, while the percentage of those acknowledging a low-degree of transformation dropped nearly 10 points.

Momentum around cloud computing was cited by 53 percent of firms as the reason they’re changing their business model in some fashion. Another 49 percent cite emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and block chain.

“The most important thing is to do is make an honest gut check of how well you run your operations today,” April added. “If you’re running a loose operation currently, if you don’t shore up how you run things today, you won’t be in a position to survive tomorrow.”

Channel Impact®
The data shows that assistance with building and supporting operational efficiency can serve a viable customer need while at the same time strengthening customer loyalty.

LivePerson Launches “Conversational” Partner Program

LivePerson, Inc., a New York City-based vendor specializing in “conversational commerce solutions,” has launched a global partner program to support channels for small and medium-sized businesses.

The company’s platform, “LiveEngage,” enables businesses to message with customers on third-party digital messaging channels from a single place. Furthermore, built-in AI-powered bots enable businesses to handle these interactions at scale.

“Conversational commerce isn’t a typical ‘add more overhead’ sale, but a sales and growth driver, adding value from Day One,” said Avi Kedmi, EVP of LivePerson’s commercial business group. “We believe solution providers will be the conduit for the widespread adoption of conversational commerce with SMBs because they have built trust and credibility over their many years of service.”

The company claims that solution providers that serve SMBs can earn in excess of 30-point margins on their solutions while retaining full control of their customer relationships, including billing, bundling, pricing, and packaging. They can also charge for solution implementation, optimization, and ongoing support, with second-level help from company reps.

LivePerson claims 18,000 customers, including Citibank, HSBC, Orange, and The Home Depot.

Channel Impact®
This space can serve as an interesting differentiator for solution providers in search of new ways to add value.

Xplore’s New Channel Program Brings New Options in Mobility

Xplore Technologies Corp. has rolled out a new channel partner program and enlisted several new distributors and resellers worldwide to support its rugged computers, tablets, and related mobility products.

The new VXP Channel Partner Program leverages a multi-tiered benefits structure to reward partners for their commitment to the sales, marketing and integration of the Austin-based company’s mobility solutions. Among the highlights, Platinum and Gold partners, as well as distributors, will receive a Volume Incentive Rebate (VIR), gain greater access to MDF, and receive a larger discount on demo units. All partners will be able to participate in the vendor’s deal registration program.

“This new channel program gives our partners the tools they need to pursue and win more deals, while extracting more value from every sale of an Xplore rugged mobility solution,” said Debbie Russo, director of channel marketing. “Our partners are highly energized about the growth opportunities that our expanding rugged mobility business model will bring to their own business.”

The product line is targeted for several key verticals, including manufacturing, warehousing, government, and service organizations working in the office, vehicle, and field.

Channel Impact®
The program brings to the table a number of components that are major table stakes in effective channel programs. This new initiative may be attractive to a wide variety of partners catering to this often-underserved segment of the market.




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