Planning for success

Ramzi Itani, regional channel and alliance manager, Middle East and North Africa at Symantec, shares tips on how channel partners can succeed in the year ahead.

Tags: Cloud computingSymantec Corporation
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Planning for success Itani says partners should continue to invest in themselves by making business education a priority.
By  Ramzi Itani Published  May 26, 2012

Ramzi Itani, regional channel and alliance manager, Middle East and North Africa at Symantec, shares tips on how channel partners can succeed in the year ahead.

The year 2012 is well upon us and as we get back into the swing of things it’s a particularly good time to start looking toward the coming months and planning for more success, better growth and more sustained relationships with our customers. We have to ask ourselves: ‘What are we going to do to grow our business and increase our relevance in 2012?’

Here are a few handy tips for the channel to be better positioned for success in 2012.

 Step outside of your comfort zone: Key trends include cloud computing, virtualisation, mobile solutions and information explosion. These trends are transforming the industry and having a profound impact on customers of all sizes. It’s apparent that these trends translate to business in the Middle East and as prevalent here as they are anywhere else in the world. It is important to embrace these changes. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and expand your footprint. Everything is about information these days. By taking an information-centric approach, you’ll be able to confidently capitalise on the opportunities that mobility, virtualisation and cloud computing present.

Consider all of the options when it comes to solution delivery: Our customers’ environments are becoming increasingly complex, and you have more options than ever when it comes to how you deliver solutions—traditional software, cloud solutions or appliances. Every customer has a different need and what works for one business may not work for another. If you’ve been selling traditional software, look at adding cloud-based services and appliances to your offering. You’ll be able to more effectively provide customers with solutions that meet their technology needs and fit their budget. By doing so, you build a level of confidence and loyalty from the customer when you’re offering a complete solution that would improve cost efficiency and address business needs.

Be your customers’ primary partner, but don’t forget about your network: Partner collaboration is like being a primary-care physician. While you may refer your customers to other specialists in your network, they still come to you for all their primary needs. Find a partner who has complementary expertise and bring them in to help you meet your customers’ needs. As we have said in years past, you won’t be giving anything up, but rather showing your customers that you’re well connected and willing to be strategic to help them meet their needs.

Remember that for many organisations, finding the right solutions provider or VAR is like being thrown a life line in the middle of an ocean of information. Enterprises and SMBs look to their solutions provider partners for guidance and technical expertise.

Get down to business and invest in education: It is important for partners to continue to invest in themselves by making business education a priority. In 2012, channel partners should increase their focus on business and market education by truly understanding what drives their customers’ business and what technology will help support their continued growth. There are many resources out there to help partners stay competitive. In today’s world, you need to not only be a salesperson, but also have a strong business background. Stay one step ahead of your customers by developing a strategy that anticipates what their needs will be five or ten years down the road.

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