Intelligent Tech Channels Issue 45 - Page 67

Customers want convenience and choice . Vendors and partners who offer them will boost customer loyalty and retention .

Today ’ s software-driven economy has significantly disrupted the traditional IT channel . No longer dependent on selling hardware with built-in software and maintenance contracts , the environment is now all about As-a-service solutions that are much more dynamic in nature .

Traditional transactional customer relationships have become ongoing , while ordering and sales processes have become simplified and automated . Products are delivered and provisioned remotely and support has become proactive as customer telemetry is monitored and issues are resolved before they cause downtime .
While the subscription model guarantees recurring revenue , it also empowers customers to switch or discard solutions quickly if they do not see the measurable value . This has prompted the channel to pivot towards delivering the customer ’ s desired business outcomes using a solution , not just once but consistently throughout its lifetime . This is the basic premise of customer success and is a proven approach for improving retention .
Shifting to such an outcome-based business model requires a new mindset and approach . Partners must change focus from landing the initial sale to nurturing longterm customer relationships . This requires a deep understanding of the customer journey and data and analytics to enhance the customer experience .
Distributors have a vital role in ensuring vendors meet their goals and partners have new capabilities to enable customer success . Therefore , distributors need to empower their channel partners with new skills and opportunities to increase customer satisfaction , create recurring revenue and profitability . This is where solution lifecycle management becomes fundamental to the channel ’ s success in today ’ s As-a-service environment .
Solution lifecycle management
As the name suggests , solution lifecycle management encompasses several milestones where partners can support customers and create more value from their relationships . These can be broken down as configure , price and quote , purchasing and billing , adopt and consume , expand , renew