Although the IT distribution channel is well-acquainted with digital ERP systems, a new channel platform named ChannelCenter integrates vendors, distributors and resellers within the same ecosystem, to the benefit of all parties.
Digitalization is a great enabler. It allows for operational efficiencies beyond traditional processes, and due to its instant nature, aids business transparency as well. Digital systems are now commonplace throughout modern business – many companies run ERP systems which automate and integrate their core business processes such as taking customer orders, scheduling operations, and keeping inventory records and financial data.
The IT distribution channel is au fait with these types of systems and has been implementing them for years. What it hasn’t seen yet however, is an affordable, branded reseller platform for IT distributors.
ChannelCenter has conceptualized, developed and perfected a digital platform which integrates the sales, operations and financial functions throughout the channel, whilst adding business intelligence, marketing and eCommerce components as additional integrated value propositions.
The ability to manage these functions through a series of logical and user-friendly dashboards, combined with the speed and accuracy of digital, provides a real-time competitive advantage to our platform customers, such as:
- Enhanced reseller experience and satisfaction
- Improved distributor reach via platform availability and self-service
- Unlocking greater value for vendors
- Moving distributors to data-driven decision making
- Increased operational efficiencies
- Positioning the company as a digital innovator
- Driving greater profitability
Our customers often initially wonder why they should utilize ChannelCenter when they already have their own ERP system which they’re quite happy with. The difference lies in the fact that the ChannelCenter platform is essentially a distribution platform through which different parties have individual portal access.
Potential customers perhaps see the transactional side of the ChannelCenter platform (sales, operations and finance) and equate it with performing the same functions of their ERP system. The ChannelCenter platform though, mirrors the existing IT distribution channel in that users can digitally manage their sales and operations workflow through the platform, in real-time.
In a similar way, customers also tend to confuse their CRM system with the ChannelCenter platform. Admittedly, CRM systems and the ChannelCenter platform share a common goal in improving customer relationships and driving sales.
However, whilst many CRM systems help businesses keep their customers’ contact details up to date, track business interactions and manage their accounts, ChannelCenter differs from CRM systems in that it enables self-fulfillment from a customer level, meaning that customers can login, quote and generate orders, as well as manage their business operations via their own access to the platform.
… the ChannelCenter platform is a secure transactional environment and is not public-facing. It allows distribution and channel margin visibility for users, and can be considered to be a business-to-business (B2B) environment…
eCommerce is a maket segment which has expanded rapidly with the advent of digital, and we also sometimes encounter confusion around this concept. Customers will sometimes have their own eCommerce site and want to know how what we offer differs.
What customers should know here is that the ChannelCenter platform is a secure transactional environment and is not public-facing. It allows distribution and channel margin visibility for users, and can be considered to be a business-to-business (B2B) environment, rather than a business-to-consumer (B2C) environment as an eCommerce site would.
Another question which comes up regularly is how we connect our platform through to our vendors, enabling access and transparency throughout the digital channel.
This is due to the fact that ChannelCenter’s platform utilizes a sophisticated application programming interface (API) layer, whereby pre-integrated APIs work seamlessly to connect the various intermediary IT systems, and facilitate the fully automated workflows throughout the platform.
For the uninitiated, an application programming interface (API) is a set of subroutine definitions, protocols, and tools for building application software – basically a set of clearly defined methods of communication between various software components. This means that we can integrate the different vendor, distributor and reseller IT systems to create a seamless user experience for the ChannelCenter customer.
We’d encourage you to get in touch with us should you have any further queries about our innovative distribution platform, and how it can transform your IT distribution business.