A Transformational Year

Fady Iskander, channel and commercial regional manager, Middle East at Symantec, makes his 2015 channel predictions as IT spending is expected to grow this year.

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A Transformational Year
By  Fady Iskander Published  February 27, 2015

Disruption is a big word in technology, and over the past year, the channel has continued to evolve around newer technologies like cloud compting, mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT). Just as the channel has changed, so has Symantec. In 2014, we launched our redesigned Partner Programme and solidified our commitment to working collaboratively with our channel partners to meet changing channel demands and customer needs.

But our work isn’t done. We have taken stock of all that we have achieved with our channel partners this past year and are looking toward the future. Here are the biggest game changers we expect to see in 2015:

Partners should embrace the new ways customers buy technology – Newer consumption models, like the cloud and mobile, may dictate how customers will want to purchase technology. Channel partners who have been selling products the same way for a long time may be in for a change. This year, it will be very important for partners to evaluate how they will fit into this new world, ensure they are ready for this type of integration and potentially adopt new selling strategies.

The hybrid cloud will become a huge revenue opportunity for partners – Hybrid cloud solutions offer true integration opportunities that aren’t yet being fully realised. We are already seeing a big need to help companies leverage cloud innovation and connect to their existing systems. Reseller partners with the right skillsets are needed to take on custom, on-premise consulting-based initiatives and deploy hybrid cloud solutions. While these types of engagements can be more complicated, they’re generally more lucrative. Value-added resellers (VARs) and resellers will be able to distinguish themselves with their knowledge of this market and how to integrate these technologies and systems together. We are bound to see big opportunities here in the Middle East in 2015.

Clear partner strategy will be crucial with the changing nature of the channel – The year 2015 will be a transformational year for the Middle East channel, with an increasing need for automation, products and services that support integrated verticals. Vendors will need to be transparent with their partners and create dynamic go-to-market strategies for all partner types: how the ecosystem of large partners can collaborate and where niche partners will fit in. When vendors maintain an open dialogue with their channel partners, - and partners can leverage new ways to engage - it’s a win-win scenario for both parties.

Expect future growth in the Internet of Things – Many organisations that are looking to leverage the Internet of Things lack the expertise to design devices, or the infrastructure to securely collect data and derive relevant insights. We anticipate significant industry growth here, particularly in managed services, security, analytics and vulnerability assessments. Few vendors offer a complete solution, so integration services will be a big opportunity for channel partners across the Middle East.

As you can see from our predictions above, we believe 2015 will be a year of opportunity for channel partners of all types and sizes. While the channel continues to change, there will no doubt be challenges, but we will meet them by working closely with our resellers across the region. At Symantec, we are excited for all that we will achieve with our reseller partners in 2015 in the Middle East. Cheers to a New Year of successful partnerships and growth in the Middle East and North Africa.

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