Guest Column | May 7, 2019

What Is Driving Channel Transformation And Where Is It Taking Us?

By Rob Spee, Channel Journeys Consulting

Rod Baptie, Baptie & Co

Rod Baptie


Baptie & Co


Denver, CO

Year Founded



Baptie & Company’s communities and events provide invaluable insights on the latest trends, sales, marketing, and management issues through peer-to-peer interaction.

Channel Experience

25 Years

Companies are becoming specialized either by vertical arena or by technology … If I had a financial product to take to market, a SaaS product, and I ignored the CPAs, I'd be signing my own death warrant.” Rod Baptie, Owner of Baptie & Co.

The drive toward partner specialization is all part of channel transformation that is both technology and customer-driven. I discussed this transformation and what’s driving it in my Channel Journeys podcast with Rod Baptie. Rod is the owner of Baptie & Co. and host of Channel Focus North America, a leading event for channel professionals for 22 years.

As infrastructure and infrastructure services become commoditized by cloud technology, partners are learning that the serious money is in specialization and adding true business value to their customers. In response, new channels are emerging and existing partner business models are changing to meet customers’ needs.

The channel is changing, creating huge opportunities for vendors. However, leveraging and influencing these new channels requires that channel managers really understand the partner's business model, their value proposition, and the challenges that they're facing as a company.

Key Take-Aways

  • As old technical services are no longer needed, partners are challenged to provide a much more important service – that of genuinely helping their customers build a more successful and profitable business.
  • This in turn is driving a huge trend toward specialization. The big money, and big profits, is in becoming hyper-specialized – either vertically or technically.
  • There’s a new breed of “shadow channel” partners such as born-in-the-cloud legal, accounting, and human resource firms who are technology companies with business expertise.
  • To be a really, really successful channel account manager, you really, really have to understand your partners’ business proposition, their business challenges, and be able to walk into the CEO of the channel partner's office and have a meaningful business conversation.

Take Action — One Thing You Can Do Today

Channel transformation is creating fresh opportunities for you to reach your target customer. If you’re a channel partner, define your area of specialization and how you will add business value. If you’re a vendor, identify one or two of these new breed of channel partners, speak with their owners, and find out if your current channel program has a compelling value proposition for their business mode.

Listen to the complete podcast to learn more about channel transformation.

About The AuthorRob Spee, Channel Journeys Consulting

Rob Spee is founder and CEO of Channel Journeys Consulting and host of the Channel Journeys podcast. Rob applies his channel expertise to help clients create and execute channel strategies to accelerate revenue growth. His global channel experience spans from building channels at startups to vendors and distributors like Arrow, BMC, Carbonite, and SAS. Follow Rob on Twitter and LinkedIn.