What Does the Partner of the Future Look Like?

By Regina Ciardiello

A couple of weeks back, SaaSMAX CEO Dina Moskowitz participated in a panel at CompTIA Breakaway discussing the “Partner of the Future.” Moderated by Ryan Morris, Principal Consultant, Morris Management Partners, the panel discussed how the IT channel is in a transition period, and how Solution Providers can adapt, change and overcome.

With so much ongoing in the channel, it is sometimes a challenge for today’s  solution providers to keep up with everything…managed services, the cloud, and even other new business models that have yet to emerge. For the last four years as an editor covering the SMB space, and specifically the IT solution provider channel, I have seen many changes – both good and bad. I have been hearing about the “paradigm shift” that’s ongoing in our space since at least 2008, and it involves today’s solution providers to be more than just “resellers” or even “box pushers” in some cases.

Today’s end users want their solution provider to of course think in a reactive manner, but also in a proactive frame of mind – hence the managed services model that has taken over the SMB channel in the last few years. In fact, I attended a well-known vendor partner conference earlier this year, and the speaker asked attendees to “raise their hand if they think of themselves as a reseller.” Not one hand in the room went up.

So what can today’s solution providers do to meet the needs of today’s end users in a “trusted advisor” role? Simply said, you can educate yourself. Find out about vendors or other resources that are based on help solution providers shift their business models to a cloud and/or managed services model. You can also seek out marketplaces such as SaaSMAX, which is built on providing an “App Store” type of model for the various Cloud and SaaS solutions that exist and are coming down the pike.

If you are a solution provider, what are some of the steps that you are taking to take your business to the next level? Let us know…

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