All the changes happening in the IT World is also causing trouble in the Channel, as anyone in the channel can attest to. CompTIA released its Third Annual State of the Channel Study: Channel Conflict and Deal Registration Trends, an online survey of 350 U.S. IT company executives conducted in February 2013.
the study found that "Eight in 10 say conflict has affected their business negatively, including 21 percent that described the impact as "major."
Channel "programs can prove challenging for both parties and cause headaches and hard feelings for channel partners. Problems most often occur in three areas:"
- "Poor communications, cited by 61 percent of channel partners. Examples include insufficient reporting on approvals and payout status and lack of information on incentives."
- "Technical challenges (49 percent) when deal registration systems and tools are hard to use."
- "Inconsistency (27 percent) when rules of engagement and adherence to rules are constantly changing."
"More than a third said that a set of best practices would "make a huge difference" in improving deal registration programs," according to the study.
Sales in general begins to crumble when the rules and compensation changes constantly. The indirect channel is no different.
Channel conflict is part of the deal. I don't know anyone in the channel that has not been bitten by a vendor.
Microsoft's launch of Office365 created a lot of channel turmoil (as did its end of life on SBS). Today, Microsoft is wondering what to do about its partners who are making bank downgrading win8 machines.
The IT world is in a similar state to telecom. In telecom, the carriers want to go up-market, increase ARPU, stop selling commodities, and shift revenue to cloud services. In the IT world, the shift is from hardware to cloud - from hardware to services. But all of this has to occur for all - channel partners, IT vendors and carriers - while not imploding business models. The conflict will continue as we weave through this cloud shift.
FYI.. I am a member of the CompTIA Telecom Advisory Council.