Expert Speak

Skillsets to Excel in the IT Channel Industry

Written by K.S Parag, Managing Director, FVC

It is a no brainer that a tech-first mentality is propelling businesses further into the digital era. That means the divide in skillsets is deepening at the workplace. In 2016, and YouGov conducted a joint study on the job market and skill shortages in the MENA region. The study interviewed 5,345 respondents online from 13 countries across the MENA region. One of the conclusions of the study was that over half of the companies surveyed (56%) felt that their company did not have sufficiently skilled employees in order to be able to reach their goals.

When it comes to the regional channel community, the largest skills gaps are in the popular emerging technologies, such as Internet of Things, Automation, and Artificial Intelligence. The Channel can also struggle in winning workers to address mobility opportunities, since integrating different apps, data sources and platforms is tied as the most coveted skill set.

So what then are the key points channel executives need to have in them in order to have a successful career in the channel industry? Here they are:

Commitment to the Channel
Channel executives need to take the channel seriously and commit to it. Looking at a channel opportunity as a just another sales job” is not going to cut it. Candidates need to have a clear understanding of how channels work, the channel landscape, and should possess excellent skills in joint business planning.

Creativity and Innovation
In an ever changing channel landscape, creativity and innovation can bring about lots of opportunities. You should know how to think on your feet and bring new insights that can be shared across the entire channel team.

Flexible Delivery
As a channel executive, you operate in a world that is affected by many stakeholders, and many factors that are entirely outside of your control. The ability to maintain focus in the face of turbulence, managing unpredictability and still deliver sales results is looked at as a key requirement.

Relationship Skills
Communication skills, empathy and the ability to develop relationships and trust are obvious skills that any successful candidate looking to join the channel industry must possess. These skills are basic requirements and not something that would make a candidate stand out from the crowd.

Business Acumen
The runaway number one sought after skill falls into the general category of “business acumen”. Candidates should be able to understand new business drivers such as AI, Digital Transformation, Business Intelligence, Big Data and so on, and how these will impact on channel partner

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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