Winner? The channel! It was a fun way to bring some hockey culture into the year end wrap up (Jay is more of a hockey player and I am more of a fan). Since we are both rooted in Canada, hockey is in our blood (you can listen to what the great Wayne Gretzky says about what hockey means to Canadians).

Watch the full 60 minutes of insights on where the channel is headed in 2022. 

You can use hockey to drive home some critical points in life and business. One of the most used is “go to where the puck is going to be, not to where it is” (I am paraphrasing). Trying to predict the future of the channel is no simple task, but if you follow the data and trends like Jay at Forrester Research does, then you can get pretty close to where it is going to be. 

  1. Where’s the “puck” headed? We discussed many factors that will be influencing the direction including the ability for the channel to help the business community to digitally transform in a way that wins in the digital-first economy. 
  2. Partner-assist is the way to score moving forward. Vendors need a more collaborative approach in working with all types of partners to attract, close and keep the deal. “Get them to dance and then keep them dancing all night long”. With subscription models, you have to work on keeping your customers every month. 
  3. Teamwork matters. It takes an ecosystem of partners to come together to get the job done. There is no one neck to choke.
  4. We also talked about some newer technologies like NTF and the metaverse. There are so many emerging technologies available (AI, IoT, Blockchain to name a few). Channel partners who are able to leverage these technologies to solve problems and accelerate their customers’ success will be tomorrow’s leaders in the space.
  5. Leadership matters in tomorrow’s channel. It requires deep knowledge of the data, trends and a huge dose of empathy. Employees leave because of bad leaders. In the “great resignation” business leaders need to step up and help their employees believe and enjoy a work-life balance. No one has ever said with their last breath, “I wished I worked more”.