US indirect channel for enterprise services a vital and vibrant market, says GloalData

The US indirect channel market is a cost-effective route for maximizing market penetration, according to leading data and analytics company GlobalData, which notes it is ever growing in complexity.

Robert Pritchard, Senior Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Often seen as the poor relation of direct sales in the communications market, third-party channels to market are alive and kicking, driven by their existential focus on delivering customers what they want and generating sales – their selling proposition is customer intimacy.

“Enterprises, both in the US and around the world, choose to buy services using criteria such as price, best-of-breed technology, supplier agility or any number of drivers. Third-party channel partners are well placed to help them on this journey by reselling network owners’ services, both direct to enterprises and often via agents and resellers when it comes to smaller business customers, in what is more of a value jigsaw than a value chain.

“It is a highly competitive environment which is consolidating through acquisitions, with larger Master Agents carrying considerable weight in the market. Very few network owners fail to exploit the indirect channel opportunity. In fact, they invest considerable sums in facilitating deals, supporting partners through marketing collateral, training, sales and technical support, and market development funds (MDFs).

“Traditionally seen as a ‘cheap and cheerful’ way to sell high volumes at low cost, the indirect channel is becoming increasingly sophisticated, reselling everything from managed and professional services to growth products like cloud, IoT and security.

“Channel partners are laser-focused on sales, enabled by strong relationships along the value chain, and have a strong message when competing with direct sales: ‘we are driven by you the customer, we are not just corporate employees.’

“The indirect channel not only represents a way to maximize the addressable market, it also offers similar margins to the direct retail route to enterprise customers. Failure to embrace it makes no commercial sense.”

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