The UK IT channel may be worth £50bn annually, but it’s also an industry of which most people remain blissfully unaware.
But like members of a secret society, channel professionals have no trouble spotting each other when out in polite society. With your HP-branded rucksack, the fact you’ve just got back from a business trip to Las Vegas and your inadvertent use of terms such as ‘pipeline’ or ‘end of quarter’, you’re fooling none of your fellow pros.
The channel means everything to those in it, and nothing to those not. In this spirit, IT Channel Oxygen here runs down 14 tell-tale signs that you’re a channel pro through and through. How many of these do you identify with?
14) When friends or family ask you what you do for a living, you bore them to tears by drawing them a diagram complete with vendor, distributor, reseller/MSP and end user tiers to explain.
13) You’ve been to Las Vegas more times than a slot machine addict with unlimited airmiles.
12) You regularly wheel out the expression ‘Sorry, I’d love to help, but it’s end of quarter’ to get out of stuff you can’t be bothered to do (even when it’s actually slap bang in the middle of your quarter).
11) At the mention of MDF flooring, your thoughts automatically turn to how much of your quarterly marketing budget remains.
10) People around you talk of ‘funnels’ and ‘pipelines’ with zero irony.
9) You’ve attended more champagne receptions than Kate Moss.
8) Friends are always asking you to fix their tech, even if in reality you are about as tech savvy as Cheddar Man.
7) Your drawers at home contain more branded USB sticks and biros than Paperchase’s central warehouse.
6) You can impress friends and family by telling them you know what a basis point is.
5) A ‘distributor’ is not an unfathomable part of your car’s ignition system whose work goes largely unappreciated but, rather, an unfathomable part of the IT supply chain whose work goes largely unappreciated.
4) It’s perfectly acceptable for your company or your competitors to refer to themselves as ‘solution providers’ without being more specific (even though – when you think about it – any business can say it’s providing a solution to something).
3) The word ‘direct’ sends a shudder down your spine.
2) Every product you sell is suddenly being branded ‘AI-enabled’, even if it has about as much to do with artificial intelligence as a pile of old bones and worked flint your dog just dug up in the allotment.
1) You fall asleep with expressions such as ‘long tail’, ’80-20’, ‘partner ecosystem’, ‘ARR’, ‘deal pipeline’ and ‘two-tier channel model’ running through your head.
Is this you? Then, my friend, you’re a channel person through and through.