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97% of channel partners say data is key to growth and transformation

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Westcon-Comstor news

Survey of 500-plus partners across nine countries reveals an appetite to embed a data-driven approach despite challenges

Channel partners see data as both their biggest challenge and a major opportunity as they look to achieve growth and transition to recurring revenue models, according to new research.

Westcon-Comstor, a global technology provider and specialist distributor, surveyed more than 500 senior decision makers at partners across nine countries and found that 97% see data as important in their journey to an everything-as-a-service (XaaS) future.

At the same time, access to the right data is the biggest obstacle facing partners in their pursuit of recurring revenues. Demand is strongest for data that can identify and enable market growth opportunities.

This trend is consistent across all markets where research for the Bridging the Gap: Power Up Your Data for Channel Partner Transformation report was carried out: Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the UK.

Handling of multiple diverse data types emerged as partners’ biggest practical challenge and many acknowledged the need to bolster their internal capabilities to address gaps in how they utilise and apply data for lifecycle selling.

Partners feel a particular need to become more sophisticated in their use of data to both maximise cross-sell and upsell opportunities and drive adoption of new products and solutions.

An overwhelming 95% identified data capabilities as a key investment priority for the coming year, with 70% stating that they already have an in-house data and analytics function as a foundation.

To emphasise the growing importance of data within the channel, more than half of those surveyed (59%) strongly agreed that the future of distribution lies in the provision of meaningful customer and market insights.

“Our research clearly shows that while partners see data as central to their transition to recurring revenue models, many are grappling with practical challenges around access to data and data utilisation,” said Patrick Aronson, Chief Marketing Officer and APAC Executive Vice President at Westcon-Comstor.

“Application of data and attitudes to it vary across different geographic markets, but one universal theme is that partners want to enhance their data capabilities and embed a truly data-driven approach as they aim to unlock growth opportunities. It is incumbent on those across the channel ecosystem, including distributors, to equip partners with the data and analytics they need to seize new growth opportunities and complete their journey to a subscription, software and services-based future.”