At the recent Canalys conference in Palm Springs, California, I heard that by 2025, most channel decision makers will be millennials. It’s sort of obvious as more people continue to retire, but what you really need to know is that the buying journey/habits are going to be different. So, prepare now!
I also heard that the “Silver” WorkForce (older people) are staying longer to address tech staffing shortages and avoid the boredom of being retired. With Artificial Intelligence, this “Silver” labor force may become the industry’s greatest asset. Silver Experience Humans + Powered by AI = Great Employees (just one more way that AI is changing the game).
I read this somewhere and it resonated with me…
“To protect the future, we need to lead, inspire and guide those who are following up from behind us. Those who look to us for guidance, for help, and for advice. It is our responsibility to inspire, lead, teach and help them.”
Somehow, we all need to do our part to help future-proof the IT channel by continuing to evolve.
November is a very busy month for channel events! Over the past 3 weeks, we completed our ChannelNEXT West event in Canmore, Alberta; the Canalys Forum in Palm Springs and our inaugural Cybersecurity Defense Ecosystem Summit in California.
I met hundreds of channel partners, vendors and other channel leaders. All together, their input has blended into my current channel-thinking. I thank you all for your input and feedback!
One thing that I am stoked about is the Cybersecurity Defense Ecosystem that we just launched. It’s going to be a significant weapon in the fight against cybercrime for the channel!
Here is the latest MSP Membership Benefits Road Map, and we are still adding to it!
Here are my top 10 highlights as we approach the end of 2023
- We launched the Cybersecurity Defense Ecosystem after two years of planning. The ecosystem now includes 40 vendors, 5,300 channel partners, and 10 business acceleration partners. We also expanded the size of our CDE steering committee. The goal is to make a significant dent in cybercrime. Begin your journey by signing up for the Cybersecurity Defense Ecosystem or just explore.
- At the Canalys event, I interviewed and listened to some awesome analysts. They appear to have a much better grasp on what’s going on in the channel. It was a very well done event and I added a couple of pounds! While the top of the industry is worth considering, don’t bet the farm because their echo chambers may not include Main Street. New start-ups or “laggard” vendors with a fresh channel playbook can readily outperform the competition. Companies with cash that are older and slower to change might want to consider investing in start-ups to get back into the game. Whatever vendors do, making the channel community their primary or only go-to-market strategy is smart.
- AI can also assist legacy systems and businesses with modernizing their application code in a faster, easier, and less expensive manner. As all of the old-code legacy systems can now be brought up to speed, this can be a big use-case for AI. Personally, I believe this is one of the most significant business advantages of AI today to get all businesses faster into the digital-first economy.
- I’ll go against the grain and claim that the best channel growth today is NOT found in a marketplace. Ask any MSP what benefits they are getting from vendor-centric “ecosystems” today. The hype could be far greater than the reality. Some may benefit in the near run, but as the marketplaces becomes more crowded, it will become more difficult and costly to be found by buyers (unless you invest big in the marketplace SEO and user fees). As you feed marketplaces with your knowledge and support, you may eventually become marginalized in the future. That being said, a multi-vendor, multi-partner, and multi-contributor marketplace in which all partners may discover and explore the value that each brings to the table is quite useful (if done properly). We know because we built one. Explore the Cybersecurity Defense Ecosystem as a good working example (in progress), where all “citizens” profit from the synergies established in an unbiased environment where the best-for-the-job is the primary currency. Still, knowing what to buy from any marketplace will almost certainly necessitate the assistance of a partner.
- Channel events are back, but channel partners are still sluggish in showing up. There are so many diversions and barriers to attending events. That’s sad because every channel partner that I talk to at events tells me they take home great value. What you find at any event could be the golden goose you’re looking for. I would suggest that channel partners get up and get out to more channel conferences. It’s also good for the economy and mental health. And, please don’t be a no-show! The waste of food, money and other resources are simply bad for everyone.
- Don’t miss my annual 2024 Predictions with Jay McBain on December 21 to discover what happened in 2023 and what’s in store for 2024. This year should be even crazier as we incorporate the “wild card” artificial intelligence. Details can be found at www.e-channelnews.com. If you wish to attend live, let me know. If not, watch for when we publish the episode.
- eChannelNEWS Podcasts are coming soon everywhere! Click to subscribe to your favourite podcast platform Apple – Spotify – Amazon – iHeartRadio – TuneIn – Podcast Addict – Podchaser and more! As you may know, we only do video news at eChannelNEWS. We don’t do podcasts, but many have been asking, so we finally gave in… We started to convert and post some podcasts on all of the various platforms under “echannelnews“. We will officially launch on January 1, 2024 with about 50 episodes, but you can start to subscribe to jump ahead. Expect a couple of episodes every week. Watch out podcasters – here we come!
- MSPs, VARs etc should all take the Best Managed IT Companies assessment to simply benchmark their best business practices. It’s 200 questions that you should be asking yourself and based on your honest answers, it can tell you a lot about where you are as a company. Just improve your weak spots and you will be fine! If you are on the ball and score in the top 50, you also get a cool 50 Best Award! It’s FREE!
- VOTE for Canada, USA and Britain’s Reseller Choice Awards for 2023. Watch for the voting links that were sent to you. It’s one easy way to tell the vendors and distributors how you feel to either thank them or nudge them to do better next year. Companies with the most votes win the awards!
- Have a great Thanksgiving my American friends! I am so thankful to be able to continue my journey after my surprise sextuple heart by-pass just 3 and a half months ago. The world can be a crazy, sad and cruel place but keep going! If today is not your day, then see what tomorrow brings! Thank you all of your kind words in my time of need. Stay healthy and happy my friends!