People see amazing technology. I see amazing people. Every day, I interview people who are constantly developing cool tech that humans use to do things a little faster, better, or cheaper.

Many of these solutions would go unnoticed if the channel did not exist. Simply put, vendors rely on channel partners to reach customers, sell, deploy, and support their products.

This “marriage” between vendor and channel partner is the birth of something beautiful.

As a young lad in university, learning to program was a frustrating experience for me, and I never understood why leaving out just one syntax could cause the program to crash (still don’t). Back then, I thought computers were the dumbest things on the planet, and it was the people who made them smart.

One day I had the opportunity to use a Mac and quickly realized that there was no way I was ever going to be smart enough to program applications like that, so maybe my true calling was to sell them. That was the day I switched from wanting to be a programmer to develop software to marketing them.

This early experience has made me appreciate the effort that people put in to develop anything in IT.

Today, it’s inspiring to see so many awesome people in the channel building businesses, developing products, exhibiting at events and social-networking in the community. I am honoured to be a part of such a vibrant and creative community. It truly is a beautiful thing.

If the channel was a hockey game, we are only just entering the second period. AI, Blockchain, 5G, Quantum Computing, and IoT will continue to bring significant challenges as well as opportunities to the channel ecosystem. The channel could be on the way to a warp speed, so buckle up and hold on.

I’m very excited about what we’re working on next to help the channel become bigger, better, stronger, and smarter. Keep an eye out for what we’ll be releasing for the cybersecurity partner ecosystem live on October 26 (see It’s a lofty goal, but the team we’ve assembled has what it takes to make it happen. If cybersecurity is your game, then you may want to be part of this!

The channel is a thriving ecosystem of incredible people and technology but we need to be vigilant as there are other forces competing with the channel. No one knows what the future will bring, but to remain relevant, the channel must continually evolve. To do this, everyone in the channel has to do their part, especially vendors who need to up their game in building out the next generation of partner ecosystems. In a digital-first economy, you simply cannot use the same old playbook to be successful. 

Fun exercise: Think about all the channel partners you physically met over the past year at all in-person events and divide that by the total number of channel partners in the same target market to see what percentage you actually covered. You may be surprised to discover that you met much less than 1%. How will you reach and motivate the other 99%?

I’m writing this as I sit back and enjoy the last few days of summer. If you’ve ever seen lakes and mountains while listening to loons and fish jumping (while drinking a few beers), you’ll understand where my mind is at.  Sometimes when your brain gets a chance to calm down, you can actually hear your heart talking to you.

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