News

How has COVID-19 impacted the way the channel collaborates?

02/11/20 | Industry Insights

Richard Eglon, Marketing Director of Agilitas The coronavirus pandemic has led to disruption across all aspects of the economy. The IT channel industry, in particular, has had to evolve at an unexpected rate and develop new strategies to stay afloat in this ever-changing world. As anyone who has worked in the IT channel will be…

Richard Eglon, Marketing Director of Agilitas

The coronavirus pandemic has led to disruption across all aspects of the economy. The IT channel industry, in particular, has had to evolve at an unexpected rate and develop new strategies to stay afloat in this ever-changing world.

As anyone who has worked in the IT channel will be able to confirm, collaboration has become even more vital to keep the industry running smoothly. However, the current climate has meant that vendors and distributors cannot collaborate in the ways that they’re used to. Many aspects of the channel are built on effective collaboration, which means that a sudden lack of it could pose a high risk to the industry as a whole and could result in the inhibition of growth and recognition.

In a recent survey, The Institute for Supply Management looked at the impact of COVID-19 on supply chains. Almost 75% of companies reported supply disruption because of the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, the effects of lockdown have created a significantly higher demand for some products and a drop-off in demand for others. Seamless collaboration will be a priority to keep the channel functioning and ultimately increase sales.

 

Disruption in the channel

Businesses within the channel are still adapting to a new way of working as a consequence of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The channel operates as a tight-knit chain and therefore, each company and its services have been affected by one another. Consequently, this means that the slightest disruption can have a knock-on effect to all businesses and partners involved.

For example, in terms of distribution, COVID-19 has resulted in supply shortages, with distributors warning of delays. Vendors have also had to notify channel partners that shipments of parts could take over three times longer to be delivered, depending on where they are based.

As with most businesses across all industries, staff have also had to adapt to remote working and find new ways of collaborating effectively. Instead of traditional face-to-face communication, the world has been ‘coming together’ through the internet with online tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

 

New tools and services

By embracing this change in the industry, vendors and distributors can develop their products and solutions to maintain a competitive advantage and to bring positive changes to the new way of collaborating with others. New tools are already being used by many in the channel to enable effective collaboration, such as online support platforms. An example of this is Agilitas’ ‘Partnership’ Services Portal, which assists partners in providing their customers with additional support during the current crisis. Services like these play a crucial role in ensuring that service levels are maintained to the same standard pre-COVID-19, if not an even better one..

The channel can expect a big shift towards digital communication through video tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Meet, with virtual meetings becoming a regular occurence in everyday working life. This would ultimately need a fresh investment in scalable productivity and collaboration tools.

 

Future of the channel

With remote working continuing into the foreseeable future, organisations must still be sure to listen to its people and value their insights. The COVID-19 disruption has brought about a new need for businesses to rethink their operations and how their staff collaborate, which could lead to longer-term positive effects. Many companies could help speed up a transition to a “remote-first culture” as a result of measures brought in during the last six months.

Now is the perfect time for channel firms to focus on collaborating with their customers and partners, as the value of collaboration begins to be recognised in the way it should. It could also bring many positive economic benefits, such as higher inventory availability and lower out-of-stock levels.

Remote working is still an extremely new approach for lots of businesses, and there are many aspects to learn about how to work both remotely and beneficially. As the channel industry’s knowledge of this grows, collaboration methods will also be utilised. This will provide prosperity to businesses in the channel, as well as boosting productivity and profitability. Although the initial outlook on collaboration of the COVID-19 pandemic seemed uncertain, expectations have swiftly improved as businesses in the channel are learning to overcome communication challenges.

More blogs

Read next

Industry Insights

How innovation can combat disruption in the channel

Shaun Lynn, CEO of Agilitas The ongoing global disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic is forcing the IT channel industry to evolve much faster than is comfortable, pushing many changes that would have likely occurred over the course of several years, to happen almost overnight. However, it will be clear to anyone who has worked…

Read more

Industry Insights

Agilitas achieves ISO 27001 Certification

Global channel services provider, Agilitas IT Solutions, has successfully received the ISO 27001 certification, after obtaining a full recommendation from the auditors for meeting all requirements. The ISO 27001 certification demonstrates Agilitas’ commitment to information security excellence and continuous improvement, as well as informing its customers of its dedication to keeping their information secure and confidential.…

Read more

Industry Insights

The challenge of solving the partner programme puzzle

Getting relationships with the channel is critical and many look to make that simple – but achieving it is a complex ambition You have to hand it to outgoing Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey for saying out loud, in an interview with MicroScope last month, what a lot of people have been thinking for years. Announcing an overhaul that brought…

Read more

Get in Touch

CONTACT US TODAY AND TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR IT

Fill in the form below or ring a member of the team

0115 919 6000
Chat with us
Chat with us
Hi, you're through to one of the Agilitas Help Team! How can we assist you today?
Connecting...
Sorry, none of our advisors are available at the moment.  Please leave your name and details below and someone will get back to you.
Sorry, none of our advisors are available at the moment.  Please leave your name and details below and someone will get back to you.
:
:
:
Our advisors are available to assist you. Please start the conversation by completing your details below…
:
:
This chat session has ended.
Was this conversation useful? Vote this chat session.
Good Bad