The 6th annual State of Partnering research survey uncovered some optimistic news for the channel in 2012. This year’s study was the biggest and most comprehensive yet –with vendors such as Avaya, Cisco, HP, IBM, NetApp, Oracle, and Red Hat participating in the survey.

For six years, PartnerPath have been researching the partnering plans and priorities of the IT vendor community. This body of research contains a broad assortment of reflections on the challenges, priorities, metrics and investments of technology vendors as they go to market with and through indirect channels.

Here are some of the highlights from the survey:

– Being Easy – Nearly 50% of vendors indicated that ease of doing business is their #1 partnering priority this year (up from #3 last year)

– Cloud Integrators – Notch up to the 3rd most strategic partner type for vendors; Resellers still #1 and SI’s #2

– Selling Value – Doing effective pre-sales discovery and selling business value to LOB decision makers are still the top two enablement priorities for 2012

– Spending up – Nearly 50% of vendors indicated their intent to increase spending on MDF, rebates and other incentives AND deal registration fees in 2012

Contact Partnerpath to get more details on their survey.

The Solution Providers are also optimistic on their growth for 2012. The vast majority expect to increase revenues significantly, but acknowledged that their customers are more cost-conscious. This trend will most likely continue as end-users look to extend use from their installed equipment before upgrading.

Selling true value and return on investment will be very important for Resellers to be successful. Resellers will need a do a better job in prospecting and uncovering new opportunities. The businesses will be looking for effective solutions and the sales presentation must be refined to convince the buyers.

It is likely that the Resellers with the most effective sales teams will win a bigger share of the business this year. TechnoPlanet, in conjunction with e-ChannelNEWS will be launching an online partner testing tool for sales reps to score their sales ability. The system will report on their strengths and weaknesses and suggest training courses from VARCoach to improve. Vendors can buy seats and offer their partners to test their sales representatives for FREE. It will help identify a path for each partner to improve their game in the competitive IT market. Resellers can also subscribe to the service directly and get a head-start on their competition. See

As the resellers ramp up for another year in the IT market, it is good to see that vendors will be investing more in the channel. Julian Lee, President of TechnoPlanet comments: "We have been in the channel development business for over 20 years and we have heard countless times about the faith of the channel. It may be time to bury that attitude and refocus efforts to help the thousands of resellers who do a great job every day to sell, implement and support IT solutions for their customers. Throughout the good times and the bad times, I have seen an amazing resilience with resellers that I have met over the past 10 years at our ChannelNEXT events. It will only get better this year".