Vendors Embrace AI Channel Sales, Research Finds

Vendors Embrace AI Channel Sales, Research Finds - AI - News

A Growing Trend: Vendors Embracing artificial intelligence (ai) Through Channel Sales

The technology landscape is witnessing a significant shift with the growing prominence of artificial intelligence (ai). A recent study conducted by The Channel Company (TCC) sheds light on this trend, revealing that an increasing number of vendors are eager to capitalize on the burgeoning ai market through channel sales. The findings were presented at TCC’s XChange March 2024 conference by Kristy Davis, the global vice president of ai, innovation, and insights at TCC.

Vendors Leading the Charge in ai

The research reveals that 33% of vendors already have an ai offering available for partners to monetize. Furthermore, 17% are collaborating with ai technology leaders to create such offerings. A remarkable 28% of vendors are currently developing ai products specifically designed for channel distribution. This overwhelming commitment from vendors underscores the pivotal role the channel is expected to play in the ai era.

The emergence of groundbreaking ai language models like ChatGPT and the integration of GenAI capabilities into over 74% of software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms have resulted in a surge of interest in the ai market. With over 300 new players entering the market, the adoption of ai is not limited to large enterprises alone but also extending to midmarket segments with 100 to 1,000 users.

Internal ai Adoption and Commercial Offerings

The potential role of the channel in the ai space is evident, but internal adoption and external revenue generation are still in their infancy among solution providers. According to the study, only 12% of surveyed solution providers have integrated ai into their workflows, indicating the early stages of adoption.

Interestingly, a substantial 77% of surveyed solution providers do not offer commercial products with GenAI capabilities. This statistic highlights the vast untapped potential for channel partners to capitalize on the ai wave. However, some solution providers remain cautious with the share of those who stated they will never integrate ai into their workflows rising from 4% to 8% between October 2023 and February 2024.

Journeying Towards ai Adoption: The Case of Titanium

Jason Romer, the Chief Operating Officer of Titanium, a Fair Lawn, New Jersey-based solution provider, shares insights into his company’s ai journey. Titanium has leveraged ai internally for automation, aiming to reduce human error and increase operational efficiency. Romer emphasizes the importance of automation, stating, “Now it’s a heavy focus on the automation side of it because we obviously want to realize all of the benefits that come from that.”

Romer’s team has used products like Pia to build more automation and target level-one engineering tasks such as user onboarding and password resets. Their goal is to automate away dozens of hours of work per week, ultimately achieving a target of 550 nodes per engineer, up from the current 300 nodes.

The Future: Embracing ai-Powered Transformation

Matt Yorke, the newly appointed CEO of The Channel Company, emphasizes the importance of strategic ai adoption. He advises solution providers to “have very small tests with defined KPIs, see how those go and then you kind of move out.” Yorke also highlights the massive opportunities ai presents. With an expected $151 billion in GenAI spending by 2027 and a “massive” PC and hardware refresh cycle anticipated in the second half of 2024, ai-powered PCs and devices are projected to dominate the market with a 60% share by 2027.

As the ai revolution continues to gain momentum, the channel is emerging as a critical player in driving its adoption and success. Vendors are actively developing ai offerings for partners to monetize while solution providers explore ways to leverage ai for internal efficiency and external revenue generation. While adoption is still in its early stages, the vast untapped potential and the anticipated hardware refresh cycle position the channel as a driving force in the ai era.