Channel Partners

FAL 2016

For 25 years, Channel Partners has been a resource for indirect sales channels, such as agents, VARs and dealers, that provide network-based communications and computing services, associated CPE and applications, and managed and professional services

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COVER STORY As with making people feel valued, smaller companies seem to do better incentivizing employees financially. Among respondents looking for better compensation, most work for companies with revenue between $10 million and $99.9 million. But managers at midsize firms, don't get too smug. Among those on the prowl, dissatisfaction with their company's management and corporate culture came in second on the list of reasons to go elsewhere. That complaint echoed the loudest among those working for companies of between 50 and 249 employees. "Too much focus on hardware and not enough on software and services," said one respondent. From another: "No vision or strategy, poor executive leadership, caustic culture, dishonesty from top down, absentee leadership, little owner- ship or accountability." Ouch. A bright spot: Dissatisfaction is just 10% of at companies with nine or fewer employees and 25% at companies with 10 to 49 workers. And, finally — gulp — about 12% of survey respondents want out of the channel altogether, preferring employment with a vendor (10%) or an enterprise or vertical organization. � Are you actively exploring other job opportunities? job opportunities? � Yes Not yet, but I plan to begin a job search within the next 6 months No, I'm staying in my current role for the foreseeable future 20.6 % 20.2 % 59.3 % BY LORNA GAREY Overall, just 44% of respondents are confident that they have the right skills to serve customers. Of the 56% seeing a lack of expertise, 64% have missed revenue opportunities and 53% have had to delay customer projects — hardly a recipe for business success. There's no doubt that finding and affording skilled personnel is tough, with special pain around security and, to a lesser extent, mobility, cloud and development. The more a solutions provider has to pay, the more they must charge customers. Some respon- dents are reaching out for help — 32% of those citing a lack of expertise have outsourced portions of customer proj- ects. Others are likely sourcing talent from suppliers or distributors. But is that a long-term winning strategy? Just two-thirds of respondents agree or strongly agree their employers are making the correct investments for the future. "It feels like 2000 around here instead of 2016," says one respondent. "They will get passed by soon." That's troubling enough, but when we dug deeper, we saw that among channel pro participants with reservations, 58% percent are actively job seeking; 62% say they will be within six months. Employers are between a rock — raising prices to afford talent and risk losing business — and the hard place of seeing current staff leave because they don't perceive the proper investments being made. "We have seen a steep decline in the quality of technical workers in our area in California," said one respondent. "The majority who come to interview with us have such an entitlement attitude that it has made it almost impossible for us to locate talent that we can train, who actually have the integrity to work at their positions and do the jobs that they were hired for and are being paid for, without becoming a bad influence on other staff members." That channel pro says his company has had to fundamentally change how it does business in order to stay profitable. "We have seen companies come and go over the years that pay more than what they can support and justify economically," he said. There's temptation to take advantage. "The � Do you believe your employer is making the correct investments for the future? � Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree 7.1 % 28.2 % 42.5 % 20.2 % 2.0 % SKILLS SHORTAGE: LITTLE RELIEF IN SIGHT � Do you see an internal talent shortage today in one or more shortage today in one or more areas important to serving your areas important to serving your customers? � No Yes 44.4 % 55.6 % 16 CHANNEL PARTNERS FALL 2016 Data: Channel Partners and 451 Research Data: Channel Partners and 451 Research Data: Channel Partners and 451 Research

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