Alex:

It’s often said that the enterprise sector has big buying power, but big expectations to go along with that. It’s potentially a lucrative market, but one that carries a heavy burden of responsibility for the channel.

A recent industry study we conducted with industry analyst, Ovum, highlights that the enterprise is no less demanding that its ever been.

Some may argue that clients’ expectations have become unreasonably high in an era of high technology adoption and reduced investment…

…Always wanting more for less.

Duncan:

This is partially true, of course, but – if our research with Ovum is anything to go by – the channel is not helping itself in a number of fundamental areas.

For example, almost 6 out of 10 (58%) enterprises we surveyed said they felt restricted by the lack of vendor choices in their SI or VAR’s portfolio.

Coupled with this, more than half (52%) of the 200 businesses we polled said that their biggest frustration with the channel was the lack of transparency on things like pricing, service delivery and supply chain partnerships.

As a consequence, a similar number of clients (49%) say that they now wish to be actively involved in the section of vendors that their SI/VAR deals with…

… A clear warning sign to the channel that the status quo is about to be disrupted.

Alex:

The underlying lack of trust in the channel model is one that emerges in several areas of our report, which you can download for free from TalkTalk Business.co.uk

The good news is that many of the enterprises’ frustrations can easily be remedied through more product flexibility (67%), evidence of benchmarking (58%) and investment in vendor selection (58%).

Coupled with this, 4 out of 10 buyers (39%) say that the channel needs to improve the quality of joined up working between client, partner and vendor.

This presents an opportunity for SIs and VARs to demonstrate real transparency and begin the process of rebuilding trust.

By engaging customers more regularly and working in partnership – based on long term objectives – the channel can get back to doing what it does best…

…Providing a truly business grade service to business grade enterprises.

Duncan:

To do this, integrators and VARs need to look beyond existing ecosystems of vendors. Beyond the cosy preferred supplier relationships. And, certainly, beyond the sub-standard, legacy technology providers that are holding British businesses back.

The enterprise is demanding more and you should be demanding more from your vendor network too.

Download our Ovum report today and see how your current offer matches up to the expectations of the modern enterprise.