The coolest thing about my first job was that it was right next to an audio store. How I used to drool over those components, especially the beautiful timber speakers I really, really wanted. I regularly put part of my pay cheque into assembling the best sound system I could, to provide the best sound for the music I enjoyed. The record player I wanted (dating myself here!), the best speakers I could afford, the receiver I researched and selected etc..
As companies assemble, maintain and modernise their IT environments to achieve particular outcomes, often the sweet spot is not going to be the full stack from one particular vendor. They look to you, their technology partners and advisors, to help them build a best of breed, integrated ecosystem, bringing the best vendors together. They need you to manage the procurement, delivery, vendor relationships, installation, optimisation and even the day-to-day operations.
Since cloud nirvana is a moving target and, these days, companies are being driven to pursue a multi-cloud strategy, they need more than technology. They need your help and advice. But who helps you?
Getting the multi-cloud / hybrid cloud strategy right is different from business to business, so it would be much easier if tech vendors created validated designs and made sure their solutions worked well together instead of leaving it to end users and their technology partners to figure out.
Actually, key technology vendors like VMware, Cisco and Hitachi Vantara, whose solutions have become all but ubiquitous in Australian companies’ multi-vendor environments, are really getting that integration thing right. Even better, this collaboration is culminating in a Meet in the Channel approach that creates opportunities for our channel partners.
That means it’s time to answer a few questions like:
- How can tech vendors help you add more value to your customers?
- What are the benefits of a Meet in the Channel approach?
- What should you be looking for when assessing joint solutions?
The New ROI
As your customers’ trusted technology partners, rather than bringing one piece of the puzzle to the table – like a one-off product or a single stack – for the end user’s IT leaders and team to stitch together, you help them assemble complete solutions that solve business problems.
Companies want technology and strategies to support change and growth. You’re working to put together environments for the long term and adding greater value to your customers’ businesses over the course of a transformation or a journey in support of business objectives, not just to solve one-off business problems.
You help them understand how to change, what to update, what modernisation looks like, and to help them see not just functionality but the rationale of what a technology strategy will do for the business or enable the business to do over the long term.
Rather than Return on Investment, what organisations are actually seeking is Return on Innovation.
Rather than focusing on how long it will take for a technology solution to pay for itself by saving x dollars or improving productivity by x percent, you can turn your focus to transformative value.
It’ll be different from customer to customer, but it’s about how a technology strategy can help an organisation do things like improve customer engagement, time to market, employee satisfaction, address new target markets. It’s about leveraging an investment in technology to help an organisation innovate to achieve its transformative goals.
How can we vendors help you to help Australian businesses do that? By collaborating and making a Meet in the Channel approach easier and more beneficial for our channel partners so you can best support your customers.
Meet the Benefits of a Meet in the Channel Approach
I can’t speak for every tech vendor out there, but I can tell you that the beauty of the Meet in the Channel offering that Hitachi Vantara and partners like Cisco and VMware provide is that the designs are the result of extensive investment in money, time and effort to test, trial, certify and validate.
For our channel partners, the benefits of this approach include:
- Low Risk: These trusted companies are doing their due diligence to validate that these solutions – such as deployable converged infrastructure solutions – do work together and backing that up with SLAs. The reference architecture is proven. It works. You don’t have to worry about how to tie them all together and make them “talk” to one another.
- Less Stress: You’re still managing multiple vendor relationships, but behind the scenes the overall attitude is one of outcome-focused cooperation.
- Simplicity: Transitions are simplified, whether your customers are going from one platform to another, upgrading or scaling up. The goal is little to no disruption to their environment. Change management takes up less of your time and you can focus on higher value things.
- Flexible Consumption Models: The joint solutions or bundles that Hitachi Vantara creates with partners like VMware, Cisco and others are 80% pre-configured based on proven experience with use cases and typical requirements. We can help you tweak the remaining 20%, to customise as necessary on a customer-by-customer basis.
- Room for Margin: We’re not selling one another’s solutions with our own margins on top. It’s about giving you options to help you put solution packages together that make sense for your customers budgets and also give you room for margin.
This way, you have access to solutions of different “sizes”, and in new and flexible consumption models, to meet the needs of customers whether they want to start small, build on what they have, or build something new.
Here are some attributes you should look for when assessing joint solutions.
- Legacy ROI | Customers’ legacy systems may still have life left in them, so vendors should offer solutions that will integrate with them and add power, capacity and capabilities on top.
- Trust | Are the vendors longstanding, credible organisations that continue to innovate
- Longevity | Look for solutions you can build on, developed over the course of longstanding relationships leveraging deep capabilities.
- Flexibility |Push for flexible consumption models to fit your customers’ needs, allowing you to build, change, migrate and transform at their pace.
- Simplicity | Solution components should operate on the same management stack or platform with a single interface.
There’s never been a better time for partners to connect and work with Hitachi Vantara.
Head to our site to find out more about our Partner Program and apply!
Love an info-packed webinar designed for the Channel?
Check out our Building the Right Channel Ecosystem: Taking a Data-Driven Approach to Scale and Complexity webinar-on-demand featuring panellists from Hitachi Vantara, Cisco and VMware.