The modern IT industry is undergoing significant and exciting changes. As sophisticated emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) or augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) make headway in the commercial, corporate and private sectors, manufacturers, distributors and resellers are seeing considerable opportunities to advance their businesses – offering the latest capabilities to service providers and end users.

By Bradley Pulford, channel lead at Dell EMC South Africa

In addition, the rising multi-cloud trend in the enterprise and data center sector demonstrates the critical need for organisations to ramp up digital transformation efforts to be more competitive, profitable and efficient.

This is a fantastic opportunity for the channel, as partners can start conversations with new or existing customers around digital transformation strategy and the adoption of innovative products and services, while positioning themselves as trusted technology advisors. In this way it’s possible to drive long-term customer loyalty, develop new market opportunities and realise increased revenues.


A five point plan for partners

For partners looking to strengthen existing business relationships, whilst attracting new customers, access to the latest technologies is essential and ongoing development and training provides differentiation and competitive advantages in their markets. By leveraging the significant resources available through Dell EMC’s leading partner platform, partners can get in early on emerging market trends, working with us to deliver superior products and services to customers, to help them to exceed their business objectives now, and in the future.

In the current market, there are six major trends that channel partners should be focusing on to drive success and growth for their organisations:


Optimal efficiency and productivity through multi-tier cloud and distributed data center models

Multi-cloud models – drawing on private and public cloud environments – are becoming increasingly popular with organisations the world over. This is no surprise, as being able to leverage the best of both worlds; processing all data types, at any time, from any location, provides unparalleled advantages to data driven workflows.

This is a fantastic opportunity for IT service providers specialising in the design, implementation and integration of private and public clouds, and with the development of tailored hybrid and multi-cloud models, including IT infrastructure and applications, channel partners can offer companies a wide range of IT services whilst positioning themselves as trusted advisors.


Improved decision-making processes leveraging AI and ML

The benefits of multi-cloud are driving forward advanced data processing and analytics by enabling the full power of AI and ML. The boundaries between human and machine working are disappearing, as businesses work to augment and improve output through blended workflows, harnessing the advantages associated with both approaches.

AI rapidly facilitates accurate insights to help organisations make better decisions faster and channel partners can have a huge role in implementing and managing AI applications within their customers’ organisations. With their expertise, partners are ideally placed to act as consultants for companies looking to adopt the optimal solution for their business models.


Future ready workstations harnessing AR and VR

With AR and VR breaking into the enterprise sector and even the private sector, channel partners and IT service providers have a great opportunity to get involved in the adoption of modern workstation infrastructure.

Augmented and virtual reality offers companies a unique creative tool to prepare the workplace for the digital future. As user interfaces continue to evolve, so too will data center infrastructures and cloud models to support the demand for data generation, processing and storage and ultimately provide the best possible end-user experience. For partners, this introduces possibilities to future-proof workflows, with lots of up-selling and cross-selling potential to develop broader supporting infrastructures.


5G driving wider adoption of software-defined IT

Everyone is excited about 5G and with tangible benefits for businesses, service providers and the end user, this new mobile communications standard is promoting broader transformation, including a focus on the development of software-defined strategies. Software-defined networks and increasingly, software-defined data centers are fast becoming a prerequisite to ensure optimal data transportation, whilst providing the required scalability to cope with fluctuating demand patters from a rapidly growing device population.

With 5G, channel partners have the opportunity to achieve significant business growth, whilst developing expertise and furthering capabilities around what is fast becoming the biggest innovation driver in today’s marketplace. To leverage the considerable potential of 5G, partners should already be looking to get involved in developing use cases together with their customers, whilst driving adoption of critical infrastructures and software-defined strategies to truly enable this emerging technology.


Partner cooperation to implement complex solutions and sophisticated technologies

Even in long-term customer relationships, channel partners can sometimes struggle to fulfil extensive tenders, simply because they lack expertise in niche areas, or are unable to access specialised solution components.

Therefore, to fulfil complex projects – which are becoming more common for partners working in established and growing markets – it’s beneficial to partner with systems and infrastructure integrators, software providers, and digital and cloud experts, to deliver the best and most innovative solution to the client, ensuring maximum satisfaction and increasing the opportunity for future business.


Smarter supply chains with greater sustainability

Sustainable business models are a must and the benefits in terms of increased efficiency and profitability are undeniable.

Dell EMC is committed to developing more sustainable businesses through cleaner supply chains, increased materials recycling and cooperation between organisations to promote the environmental agenda. In addition, many of our partners are helping us to achieve greater success, by restricting the use of plastics in their supply chains and evaluating their “plastic footprint” to reduce the amount of non-recyclable plastics in circulation.

Partners who can assist their customers in establishing more sustainable operations – in line with the EU Sustainable Procurement Policy and offering significant cost and efficiency saving across their businesses – will have access to a broader range of business opportunities, whilst positioning themselves as trusted advisors to the growing number of responsible, modern organisations working towards a better future for everyone.