Posts Tagged ‘channelcentral’

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Future trends in Distribution services – Looking forward in 2018 & beyond

February 28, 2018

Having served the IT Channel for a decade and working with Manufacturers, Distributors and Resellers in over 60 Countries, channelcentral is well placed to observe Channel movements and trends. We recently contributed to the IT Europa Channel Predictions report, so we thought we’d share what we had to say:

Traditional IT buying and selling motions are under pressure to evolve.  Our Chief Strategy Officer, Greg Starks, believes that, “The lines between traditional upfront selling and Device-As-A-Service/Software-As-A-Service will continue to blur. The channel [distribution] will offer hybrid financing that address selling upfront + As-A-Service together. This will allow partners and customers to visualize packaged As-A-Service offerings alongside financed custom solutions as a comprehensive OpEx payment timeline.” We hear manufacturers talking about Device-As-A-Service every week. We recognize the role that distribution now plays in the ‘As a Service’ IT procurement model and partners who engage closely with distribution will be more successful.

As-A-Service offerings will increasingly be seen as a way of ‘locking customers in’ and earning their loyalty.  Everything that is offered ‘As-A-Service’ needs to be validated, yet you still want to give your customers choice and not be too prescriptive. Packaging/bundling up an ever-wider number of products, whilst managing your customers’ journey and still offering them choice, will create a need for more sophisticated eCommerce sites that have integrated Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) software. Without this, the management of these offerings is extremely resource intensive. Traditionally, distributors have had to assist customers with their hardware configurations or ask them to click out to hosted CPQ software.

There is still a time and a place for this level of complexity but we will be seeing a shift in the market. Already, hosted CPQ Software has an ever-growing number of attach options to fulfil the ‘As-A-Service’ model but what if Partners can leverage their offerings even more easily than that? Greg Starks, thinks that “Manufacturers and Distributors will invest in point solutions to bring just enough CPQ Software into self-service IT buying. Beyond just configuration, tools that help to shape demand toward the high-confidence products that can be delivered immediately.” These are likely to be served as ‘plug-ins’ to eCommerce systems with full basket integration.

As distribution advances its capability to aggregate their breadth of suppliers into packaged “As-A-Service” offerings, smart Partners can take new, more appealing sales propositions to their customers. In the Noughties End Users would reach out to their resellers when they had CapEx available to spend on a specific project. If a Reseller won a €2m deal one year they’d be expected to win one next year and the year after. How do you resource that? Fast forward to now and that’s now OpEx spread over several years.
As-a-Service is not just about predictability of revenue and removing barriers to driving new IT projects there are other advantages including:

1. Partners become strategic to their End User as they sign long-term contracts to provide IT Cloud or Infrastructure projects based on a Managed Service.

2. Distributors now represent hardware, software, services, finance and cloud vendors making the choice of solutions near infinite. Partners can guide end users to truly optimized solutions.

3. Partners (usually) bill the customer monthly and that’s a good thing – consistent interaction with a customer gives Sales opportunities to engage, seek feedback on the effectiveness of the solution and identify new opportunities.

4. Software-As-A-Service is incredibly easy to audit versus traditional licenses ensuring the End User is compliant but also the sales opportunity is maximized. Businesses without full “license” compliance equals a lost revenue opportunity as well as a risk to their business.

5. Working indexing into contracts means that margin is protected over the term (example would be linking the price to the Retail Price Index or similar).

6. There’s such a great opportunity for partners to differentiate here and that means less price comparison.

7. End-users need help. Yes, commodity resellers sell servers and over time similar companies will use technology to improve that experience, but partners are best placed to recommend solutions.

Do you need help implementing your As-A-Service business model? We can certainly assist. Just contact us for an informal discussion. We’d be glad to offer you advice.

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Celebrating a Decade in the Channel

August 29, 2017

August 2017 marks 10 years of channelcentral being in business. We are incredibly excited to be celebrating. It has taken a lot of hard work to get to where we are today, made slightly harder by the Global Recession that coincided with our launch!

In August 2007 channelcentral started as a team of just 4 people working out of a spare rooms. A year later, our flagship product, iQuote, was born. Today, iQuote is used around the world in over 60 countries by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. customers. This configure, price, quote (CPQ) software has helped grow their businesses and provide efficiencies within sales teams in hundreds of Distributors and Resellers.

Off the back of iQuote’s success, channelcentral has been able to develop new CPQ Software services, Product Selectors, B2B Sales Portals, and Smartphone Apps as well as many custom built developments to assist the IT Channel. Our Software has been shortlisted for a few awards along the way too!

Today, channelcentral has 2 UK offices and a presence in the US and Colombia to support it’s ever growing business. With 29 members of staff, many of which have come from the IT Channel and are experts in their field, channelcentral is looking forward to the next 10 years and developing many more software solutions for IT Vendors, Distributors and Resellers.

At our Company Meeting held in August 2017 we reflected on the last 10 years and enjoyed an obligatory cake. A huge Thank You to all of our customers for helping us get this far. We wish we could have saved you some cake!

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Best Performing Zero Client

July 10, 2017

HP t310 Zero Client

t310_ZC_tcm245_2369385_tcm245_2463541_tcm245-2369385Speed through workloads with the HP t310 G2 Zero Client. HP’s best performing zero client has the high performance you want and the security you need. Plus, deployment and management are simple, helping to get all devices up and running quickly.

Here are the key benefits to the HP t310:

  • Reduce lag and finish ahead of deadlines with fast boot and response times, even with 3D applications.
  • Improve productivity by connecting display and accessory add-ons with two additional USB ports and an extra DisplayPort™.
  • With no data stored on the HP t310 G2 Zero Client, your intellectual property stays safe on your secure server.
  • The HP t310 G2 Zero Client easily connects to VDI or cloud servers, including VMWare® and Amazon Workspaces environments.

Login to iQuote today and add a quote to basket. The following models are available:

In AMS: 2EZ54AA; 2FU10AA; 1MV55UA; 2FU11AA; 1MV54UA

In EMEA: 2EZ54AA; 2EZ54AT

iQuote is CPQ Software developed for HP Inc. by www.channelcentral.net

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How can you manage multiple Vendors and your entire Channel more efficiently?

November 30, 2016

email2_09Configuring, Pricing, and Quoting products from multiple Vendors can be a challenge for any Distributor or Reseller. Now you can manage them with a single tool and shorten your quote-to-order cycle, ensure quote accuracy and align your go-to-market strategies.

Multi-Vendor Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) Software can manage all of your product data feeds, configuration rules, pricing and stock for all of your chosen Vendors’ product lines.

With Multi-Channel capability it can be used by your internal sales/technical/product teams, your customers and even your customers’ own customers!

Freebird CPQ Software, developed by channelcentral.net is a service which offers Multi-Vendor, Multi-Channel and multiple product types too.  Watch our latest video to learn more about Freebird.

To discuss Freebird, contact us today. CPQ solutions from channelcentral will save your company money on IT expenditure, whilst increasing the efficiency of your sales teams and your eCommerce reach with your customers.

Visit http://www.channelcentral.net/freebird.asp

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channelcentral at CompTIA EMEACON16

October 13, 2016

ComptTIA Premier Member LogoAs a Premier Member of CompTIA, channelcentral was invited to attend our first EMEACON this year in London.  The event was held in a great venue and attended by over 400 IT Channel professionals from a host a Managed Service Providers, Vendors and Resellers.

The event is a mix of certification sessions for those looking to build their CPD hours and IT Channel sessions for the wider community and is very well planned out. On Tuesday the event kicked off and we were fortunate enough to attend a lively session by the author Charlie Hutton, who gave some fantastic insight to Online Lead Conversion in his session “How to ‘Legally Murder’ your Competitors Online”. There were also a number of other useful workshops led by different thought leaders.

Also on Tuesday we heard from Tracy Pound, Managing Director of MaximITy who introduced a fantastic initiative to introduce more women into the world of IT. The #MakeTechHerStory campaign was launched and led many of the Professionals in the room to ‘let their hair down’ momentarily by finding innovative ways to wear the campaign bandana!

A great Day 1 was wrapped up with a drinks reception and fantastic Networking Dinner which was enjoyed by all.

CompTIA Stand PictureDay 2 saw the main foyer full of exhibitors who had an incredibly early start to set-up stands to promote their solutions to the rest of the delegates.

channelcentral was fortunate to have a great stand position and be given the opportunity to promote its Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) Software and other services. It was a busy day with lots of insightful conversations taking place around the event, including more sessions for the Certification Partners and IT Channel that had a chance to expand their knowledge on Cybersecurity, the Internet of Things and the general state of the industry.

Thank you to CompTIA for a great couple of days of Networking. It was a good opportunity for channelcentral to meet new customers and build Channel relationships. The hospitality was superb and we look forward to joining CompTIA at many more events in the future!

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A successful show at GPC 2016 in Boston

September 16, 2016

HP Inc and Hewlett Packard Enterprise wrapped up a very successful GPC conference in Boston this week.

20160913_120957channelcentral.net was proud to be a Networking Sponsor for the event. The HP Inc. and HPE partner community are strong adopters of the channelcentral.net-developed iQuote tool, and the GPC conference gave channelcentral.net the opportunity to highlight a number of new features within the tool. Among the new features unveiled at GPC were a number of new “Product Finder” filter features for hardware, software, and options; an enhanced user experience that gives more control and preference of view for the user, and the integration of HP Financial Services (HPFS) payment terms so users of the tool can instantly determine the finance options and payments for their purchases. The iQuote product was presented in both the HP Inc. and HPE showcase areas, and throughout the sponsor area by channelcentral.net Client Directors Terry Knott and Tod Johnson. Feedback from HP Inc. and HPE partners and Distributors was very positive, and expectations are that the trajectory of iQuote use will accelerate even faster as the new platform is released.

20160912_091044The GPC event itself was started off as HP Inc. took to the stage on the morning of the opening day by creating a “rave” atmosphere complete with an opening musical act that caught the attention of the senses (and eardrums!) of all attendees. HP Inc. CEO Dion Weisler did a remarkable job of keeping the energy high throughout the 2-plus hour opening session, and highlighted some A3 printer products that have been in the works for some time and ultimately resulted in the HP Inc. acquisition of Samsung’s printer division. How often do you hear an acquisition announcement *and* see their product line-up at the same time!? A great way to start the event for sure. On Day 2, Meg Whitman and the HPE team had their work cut out given the energy HP Inc. injected into the audience; and the speed-themed, “make money” message kept pace quite well with HP Inc. Both the HP Inc. and HPE Showcase areas were busy throughout the show (as was channelcentral.net within the showcase area), and a failed guerrilla marketing attempt by Dell/EMC appeared to lead to an even greater focus on HP Inc. and HPE’s messaging and capabilities to deliver products, solutions, and services via their #1 rated partner network.

We would like to thank our customers that spent time with us throughout this year’s Conference and we would also like to extend that thanks to HP Inc. and HPE for having us there as sponsors.

If you missed us at this year’s GPC and you would like to learn more about channelcentral services for HP Inc. and HPE Channels, then download our brochure or get in touch.

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Come and see us at GPC 2016, Boston, USA!

September 2, 2016

12th-14th September 2016.

channelcentral is delighted to announce that it is a sponsor at this year’s GPC event for Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. The event is being held in Boston from 12th-14th September and is a joint event for the two organisations.

The GPC event is an opportunity for Partners, Distributors and Resellers from around the World to get together and discuss the latest developments in technology and drive Channel growth and engagement.

channelcentral is right at the very heart of this event because of its iQuote Configure, Price, Quote tool. iQuote is used in over 60 countries around the World for Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. products, enabling the Channel to quote solutions with ease.

If you are attending GPC this year then why not come and visit us?! We will be available throughout the 3 day show for meetings to discuss growing your Channel business with iQuote and our other services.

Find us at Stand SB117 in the Showcase Lounge within the Technology Showcase on Tuesday 13th September 12.30-14.00. Alternatively, arrange to meet us elsewhere at the event by emailing interested@channelcentral.net

We look forward to seeing you there!