IDC Finds Channel Partners Are Not Threatened by the Internet

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., January 24, 2000 — Most distributors, resellers, and value-added resellers are not at all threatened by the Internet channels, and in fact many are excited about the impact it will have on the evolution of the channel. These findings come from a new IDC multiclient study based on interviews with channel members and end users.

IDC research confirms channel partners have little to worry about at this time. "Our research shows that end users are still buying through their existing channel partners," said Janet Waxman, program director for IDC's System and Storage Distribution Channels research and author of the multiclient study. "While many customers are using the Internet for information gathering, the majority are not switching to pure Internet procurement models."

Channel partners' biggest concern with the Internet right now is that suppliers aren't communicating their strategies with them. "The channel partners we spoke with feel suppliers aren't doing enough to communicate their strategy — with details about time frames and a clear vision of where the channel fits with the Internet," Waxman said. "To ensure the ongoing success of the vendor/channel relationship and to win loyalty and business from the channel, vendors will have to do a better job of communicating their Internet vision and strategy."

In addition to their concern about communication, the channel partners IDC interviewed cited several opportunities created by the Internet:

— Elevates their ability to add value

— Levels the playing by expanding reach to a much larger audience

— Reduces cost of entering some markets

— Simplifies doing business with vendors by making ordering and order tracking easier

— Creates cost savings and labor efficiencies

— Improves customer relationship management

"If used correctly, the Internet will strengthen vendors' relationships with channel partners and create supply chain efficiencies," Waxman said.

IDC's multiclient study is titled The Impact of Internet Channels: A Study of Customer IT Buying Preferences. It is a series of three reports that examines IT customers' channel requirements and preferences and helps vendors create distribution strategies that address customer needs. Results of Focus Groups is the first report in the study. For more information about the multiclient study, please contact Patrick Steeves at 1-800-343-4952, ext. 6787 or at psteeves@idc.com.

Waxman to Moderate IBM's PartnerWorld 2000

IDC's Janet Waxman, director of System and Storage Distribution Channels research, will moderate PartnerWorld 2000, IBM's annual business partner conference, to take place on January 25 at 11:30 a.m. at the San Diego Convention Center.

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, relevant, and high-impact data and insight on information technology to help organizations make sound business and technology decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and technology trends and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 42 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at http://www.idc.com.

IDC is a division of International Data Group, the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.

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