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Channel partner transformation in a post–COVID-19 world

Part of the User Friendly podcast series

The shift to XaaS is accelerating, and now, with COVID-19 continuing to shift business landscapes, how can technology channel partners around the world navigate this change and generate greater value for their enterprise customers?

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How channel partners and tech vendors can work together

Historically, technology vendors have relied heavily on their channel partners to drive business growth. They have also depended on their partners’ domestic presence and localized knowledge to serve their customers across regions. As business disruptions related to—and unrelated to—COVID-19 continue to change the tech landscape, companies are looking to shift to new channel partner models, such as XaaS service subscription–based solutions.

The dilemma facing tech companies today is this: Many of their channel partners lack the capabilities required to shift to a flexible, consumption-based IT model, or what is more commonly referred to as “XaaS” (everything-as-a-service). XaaS solutions combine hardware, software, and services—traditionally sold separately—into a single customer offering.

For this change to happen seamlessly, tech vendors need to invest the time required to make their channel partners an integral part of the everything-as-a-service transformation journey. Similarly, technology channel partners themselves should work closely with their vendors to implement changes, learn, and adapt, and build their ecosystem to serve end customers more effectively.

In this episode of our User Friendly podcast, Vicki Batka, VP of partner organization at Cisco Systems (Asia-Pacific, Japan, and Greater China region), and Kamesh Mullapudi, managing director at Deloitte Consulting, explore the timely and pertinent topic of channel partner strategy transformation, the accelerating shift toward XaaS, and how it all ties into the future of work post–COVID-19.

It's really important that you think about the customer, not just from something like ‘sell it, install it, and forget about it.’ We have to create this longevity in relationships with customers, and the partner needs to be constantly adding value.

–Vicki Batka, VP of partner organization at Cisco Systems


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