Connections are Crucial

Last week, I traveled to Washington, DC to attend ChannelCon 2018, the flagship event of CompTIA, one of the world’s leading professional associations for the technology industry. While there, I was reminded of an observation shared with Channel Marketing Journal by Diana Ishak of Microsoft, who pointed out in an interview the idea that connections build knowledge.

Although Diana was referring specifically to the value of connections between channel partners, connections are vital to the success of people and companies in all areas of technology, from every corner of the channel and beyond.

This is especially true in the state of disruption we find ourselves in today. In an era of constant change, staying connected and learning from the experiences and insights of vendors, partners, competitors and industry experts is incredibly important.

Channel partners already know this. In an interview with Forrester principal analyst Jay McBain, I learned that 150 channel conferences are held every year, and that partners can subscribe to as many as 31 different channel communities. One of the largest is CompTIA, with 600,000 subscribers.

For channel partners, membership in a community such as CompTIA offers opportunities to pursue alliances that can fill gaps in product and service offerings — a necessity as customers continue shifting IT dollars from point products to integrated services and solutions. It also provides access to the training and certification opportunities that in cloud-first markets, are an important part of partners’ growth and go-to-market strategies. (Jeanine Sicinski, Partner Experience Manager at Rapid Scale, talked in depth about this trend in an interview with Channel Marketing Journal. Watch the video for more insight.)

The benefits of being involved in a channel community extend to the vendor-sphere as well. As McBain pointed out in last week’s interview, too many vendors are missing out on valuable opportunities to engage and  gain visibility by not going to partner-focused events. This runs contrary to what a lot of channel chiefs and pundits tell us about what it takes to build mutually-rewarding channel relationships. (We highlighted the top channel relationship tips we’ve received in last week’s edition of Channel Marketing Journal.

What do you think? How can your company gain value from membership in a channel community? Contact Channel Marketing Journal to share your thoughts.