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Growing a channel partner network

How Huawei supported its channel partner network through a challenging pandemic year

networking

The channel has played a key role in digital transformation for some time. Where once a company would own and manage the delivery of its products and solutions, now the channel is the fastest and most efficient way for an organisation to get its services into the hands of customers. 

There’s also been a significant shift in expectation across the board; from service providers to their channel partners and the eventual customers. Now there’s a need to do more than just deliver a product to customers, who are more outcome focused and looking at how their partners can help facilitate wider digital change.

According to Deloitte’s ‘Evolving partner roles in Industry 4.0’, companies “are increasingly realising the need to redefine their offerings, accelerate and broaden innovation, and deliver solutions in partnership with ecosystem partners”.

This company-partner-customer ecosystem has seen tech firms push themselves beyond a single-use role to play a bigger, more holistic part across the value chain. Companies are relying on their partner networks to extend services into areas such as product development, marketing, sales, delivery and customer success and support.

Huawei’s partner journey

Huawei is one such company that’s redefined its approach to channel partner networks. In the past, the Chinese tech giant found success in direct sales, but its partner ecosystem has been steadily growing. Its enterprise market partners exceeded 31,000 by June 2021. Among those are 22,000 sales partners, 1,600 solution partners, 5,900 service and operation partners, and 1,600 talent alliance partners. 

Furthermore, of those new partners around 19,000 have joined the Huawei CLOUD Partner Network (HCPN). Those in the global partner programme are given exposure to Huawei Cloud customers looking for value-added services and solutions. Prospective partners can join as either HCPN Consulting Partners, service firms that help customers of all sizes to design, architect, migrate, or build new applications or perform daily customer service operations on Huawei Cloud; or HCPN Technology Partners, commercial software and internet service companies that provide software solutions on Huawei Cloud.

One of Huawei’s core beliefs is in creating shared success with partners and investing in their growth. This guiding principle allows everyone in the company-partner-customer chain to digitise, transform the present and help foster a strong channel ecosystem. In what has been a challenging pandemic year, this level of mutual support is needed now more than ever. Huawei’s current focus is on four key areas: partner profitability, simplified policies, increasing partner capabilities and ecosystem construction.

Supporting skills

One of the most pressing issues that the IT industry has been facing (and one that’s been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic) is the widening skills gap. Industry 4.0 has meant that today’s technology is obsolete tomorrow, and keeping pace with these innovations has proved challenging when it comes to training and recruitment. With the events of the past 12 months accelerating digital transformation plans, the need to close that skills gap has become critical.

Throughout the pandemic, Huawei has stepped up its efforts to develop talent ecosystems with its partners. One area of focus is its certification system, which currently includes IT technology architecture and applications, and cloud services and platform programmes. At the close of 2020, the number of people who obtained Huawei certifications exceeded 400,000 – of those more than 13,000 have received the Huawei Certified ICT Expert (HCIE) certificate.

In February 2020, Huawei announced the Huawei ICT Academy 2.0 programme with the aim of developing 2 million ICT professionals over the next five years by collaborating with universities. This is also part of Huawei’s digital inclusion initiative, TECH4ALL, which seeks to expand the benefits of digital technology to everyone. Huawei has also set up the Huawei ICT Academy Development Incentive Fund (ADIF), with a total investment of at least $50 million for the five-year project.

Huawei will host Huawei Connect 2021 online from 23 September to 31 October, complete with live broadcasts, digital exhibitions and the opportunity to connect with industry experts. The theme of this year's event is Dive into Digital. It will dive deep into the practical application of technologies like cloud, AI, and 5G in all industries, and how they can make organisations of all shapes and sizes more efficient, more versatile and, ultimately, more resilient as we move towards economic recovery. 

For more information, contact Huawei's local team or click here

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