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2019: Channel players must adapt or face extinction

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Equinix has announced its predictions for the Channel in 2019. The predictions from EMEA Channel expert, Oren Yehudai, senior director at Equinix, highlight what to expect in 2019 across the sector. The forecasts outline the evolving technology and data trends impacting the tech industry and Channel landscape, requiring Channel players to adapt in order to survive.

With a geographic footprint spanning 52 global markets, serving more than 9,800 customers, Equinix has developed unique data-driven insights into the key factors influencing enterprises as they re-architect for success in the digital economy.

The power of cloud 

By 2021, European spend on cloud will hit £100 billion. Enterprises must make critical decisions on IT infrastructure as they adopt cloud services or fail to compete in the digital economy. The speed of demand and consumption of cloud services is both a huge opportunity and a threat for many resellers.

It’s not just the new skills they need to acquire – as most are very well-equipped in picking up new technologies. The main challenge is the internal changes required from them. They will have to adapt to a monthly billing system, change compensation plans to match new purchasing patterns and accelerate the development of consulting and ‘cloud-complementing’ services. IDC stated that at least 30% of the Channel industry players will not exist in the format we know them today by 2021 – this means some big changes for the Channel industry in 2019.

Changing the Channel business model

With the evolution of technology changing at a rapid pace, businesses will need to ensure their IT structures are flexible so they can adapt and embrace change. Trends like 5G, AI and blockchain, are no longer just concepts for conversation but vital business tools, and to advise on their implementation, partners must look to coopetition, developing joint value propositions with specialists in the field. New Channel partners are emerging without the constraints of legacy models – established players will have to adapt, merge, or face extinction. 

Knowing security

With GDPR now in play, data privacy and security are front of mind for all businesses. Legislation changes and the public nature of breaches mean all employees are expected to have an awareness of data privacy.

At the same time, the costs of launching successful attacks have significantly decreased in the last few years. Today more than ever, security is a topic in any IT and business decision. It is no longer solely in the hands of security resellers and CISOs – everyone in the Channel has to be well-informed of all possible security issues and how businesses can prepare for, and preferably, avoid them.

The birth of the eco-system sales

The three trends above create an exponentially more complex IT market. Pillars which were historically separated (e.g. Security, Storage, Servers, Networks, Next-Gen Technologies) have become part of the same conversation.

The adoption of cloud reduced the barrier of entry to the IT market and niche start-ups are becoming more common. Making the right IT decisions have an immediate effect on an Enterprise’s ability to roll out new services faster, increase customer experience and deliver value to the customer.

All of the above mean a level of complexity that leaves most partners unable to deliver an end-to-end solution on their own. This leads to a new mode of delivering value and addressing customers’ needs – the eco-system sale. Partners of all types are looking for others to join forces, develop joint offerings, or bid together on specific deals. They seek the missing pieces in the puzzle to deliver the full picture to their customers.

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