Undoubtedly, the technology channel too is facing challenges due to the Coronavirus epidemic. This is why we see that many vendors are taking the opportunity to strengthen their partner relationships. The channel network demands greater support and how companies act now will echo into the future. Business continuity during lockdown is going to be a defining moment for their partner ecosystem and channel sales.
Some global players like Twitter, Intel and The Gates Foundation have started the ball rolling with donations towards coronavirus research . Also, scientists and politicians have chosen to forego some or all of their pay.
The main way resellers have been responding to their customers has been to ensure sales continue, even going as far as supplying products for free. Partner programs continue virtually, including certifications and rewards for attainment of sales targets. Vendors in return are doing their part to help partners through this period by making their channel programs more flexible.
Microsoft, HP and Extreme Networks boosted partner support and relaxed the deadlines for completing certifications. We continue to see program shifts around accreditation, financial targets, online assets and partner training.
Extreme Networks, for example, made online training free up to at least July 20, 2020 and financing free (zero percent) for its EMEA partner programs. Technology vendors worldwide follow this pattern.
The Partner Channel Needs Flexibility
HP worked around introducing more flexibility locally to give channel management the opportunity to respond to market shifts as they come.
Technology is keeping large parts of modern-day life in operation, indeed. This is why distributors prioritize tech implementation and support.
The basic message for partners is that their customers are key to getting through in good shape. As a result, some partners have asked already for relaxing payment terms.
In fact, the tech channel now is in a position to accelerate digitalization at large, as much technology is offered for free. In the past weeks, tech partners have been busy helping customers set-up for remote work. Those partners that have already moved to virtual communication 100% have understood how important it is to make use of all available assets to communicate with end-customers. Undoubtedly, the vendors who had moved their channel partners to the cloud are now showing the way.
Whilst the extent and duration of this lockdown are still unknown, vendors are sure to keep relaxing the rules and requirements for their channel. If your partners need faster and easier support, we can help set up a flexible partner environment.