Deeper VAR-to-VAR collaboration, a big opportunity in the automotive industry and a larger emphasis on customer experience were the three predictions made by our panellists for the closing section of our European Elite 2018 roundtable, produced in association with Agilitas.
Agilitas CEO Shaun Lynn said he predicts more collaboration among channel partners next year and beyond as they look to invest in emerging areas such as IoT and cloud.
"In a multi-vendor, multi-technology, always on interconnected world where you're striving to add value and be relevant, it is about collaborating and working with best-of-breed to produce that X-Factor and that something different. That is when the channel is at its best. My prediction is we will see more than that in the coming years," said Lynn.
Canalys analyst Robin Ody's prediction was that channel partners will become key players in the automotive industry amid increasing demand for intelligence vehicles.
"Germany and the Nordics have some very strong car companies that are starting to add really strong IT capabilities and bringing in a lot of partners into that. This could mean hardware resellers looking at edge computing and infrastructure across Europe, or more software resellers looking at securing that environment through application development, and how the vendors enable some of their channel partners to move into these new areas. It is going to be very interesting, so watch this space when it comes to automotive and intelligent vehicles," he said.
Finally, Dan Davis, director of ITS Services and Solutions in EMEA for Ricoh Europe, said the channel will be forced to become more agile as customers look for flexibility from their providers.
"I think the channel will see a number of issues for those who don't adapt to customer needs, and they will potentially fall away. Those that don't bring solutions that differentiate and don't directly build out from a customer problem will suffer going forward, but, on the flip side, that's a great opportunity for the channel," he said.
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