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Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

AI Beyond Boundaries - Google's Approach to Generative AI

Google, a trailblazer in Artificial Intelligence (AI), has made significant strides since the introduction of Transformers in 2017. These neural network architectures have revolutionized natural language processing and AI. Google’s dedication to making AI accessible and valuable for all is evident in its development of an infrastructure designed to manage vast data quantities while maintaining stringent data security.

Google’s innovations span Vertex AI, Duet AI, Google Cloud Infrastructure, and the AI Ecosystem. These components are intricately woven into its cloud services and workspace tools. Google acknowledges the necessity of staying abreast of current trends through innovation and the imperative of protecting AI models and data from potential threats.

Furthermore, Google emphasizes the value of partnering with service providers experienced in AI to help businesses maximize the benefits of AI products. Through these technological advancements and collaborative initiatives, Google aims to contribute significantly, especially to clients who may lack easy access to machine learning specialists.

Vertex AI: Google Cloud’s Platform for Generative AI Applications. How Google Cloud’s Vertex AI Enhances Gen AI Capabilities for Businesses

Google Cloud’s Vertex AI, a platform designed to assist developers in creating applications using Generative AI (Gen AI) models, offers new services such as Enterprise Search and Conversations. Since its launch in 2021, Vertex AI has been instrumental in managing the complete lifecycle of AI models, from discovery, training, tuning, and testing to evaluation, control, and deployment. Google Cloud Next 2023 announced significant enhancements to Vertex AI, focusing on how Gen AI capabilities can augment Vertex AI for businesses.

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Partner ecosystem - the winds of change: all thrust, no vector

The aviation phrase “all thrust, no vector” is sometimes used to describe individuals or initiatives that exhibit a great deal of energy (such as the power required for a plane to achieve liftoff) but no clear sense of direction. It is an apt description of the current state of the IT channel.

  • The IT channel is facing several challenges, including the need to deliver more business value, the shift to as-a-Service contracts, and the need for new skills.
  • There is no clear consensus on the best way to address these challenges.
  • Channel partners are struggling to find a balance between investing in new initiatives and maintaining their existing operations.

Consider the critical business issues identified by survey respondents in Techaisle’s survey as a starting point. Ten issues (from a list of 19 options) were identified as important by more than one-quarter of respondents, but not one was identified as important by more than half. Respondents are trying to reduce volatility in their businesses by managing uncertainty, reducing churn, and focusing on customer retention – and/or they are attempting to drive growth by improving speed to market, focusing on new markets, and increasing the number of offerings sold to each customer – and/or they are looking to shore up core operations through improving sales and marketing effectiveness, attracting and retaining employees, and increasing engagement with vendor partners.

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Techaisle study reveals the IT Channel in search of a roadmap to success

Techaisle’s landmark survey of 2,115 channel partners, representing a cross-section of the partner community, indicates that while pressure for change is mounting, partners have not yet coalesced around a path forward. The Techaisle channel survey shows that the partner community members are searching for a roadmap to success. That roadmap will vary across partner models, as will the opportunities and requirements for suppliers. In this time of transition, effective channel collaboration will determine growth and viability for both individual channel businesses and their vendor suppliers.

The early years of this decade have been challenging for individuals and businesses in all sectors. In some cases, the pandemic – or, more recently, rising interest rates and declining consumer confidence – have caused tremendous upheaval, with suppliers finding that traditional definitions of the market, sales motions, and fulfillment no longer applied.

The current decade has brought an even thornier set of challenges to the IT channel. In addition to the macro conditions that apply to all businesses, and against a backdrop of changing business models, shrinking product margins, and the need to build profitable services practices, channel members need strategies to cope with:

A shift in core customers – from technologists to an organization-wide mix of personas, including businesspeople who define technology in terms of business rather than IT functionality.

• A shift in buying and selling models – from fee-for-product/service to approaches that involve outcome-based evaluation and contracting or shared risk agreements that tie payments to achieving defined business goals.

• A shift in solution composition – from monolithic systems to modular stacks that address target functionality via APIs – as well as a corresponding change in the underlying business approach, from “design once, deploy many” to a need for individualized solutions tailored to a fluid set of customer needs.

These conditions have combined to place the channel under tremendous stress. Channel members have explored different business models, different product mixes – accompanied by demands for new skills and service capabilities – and other marketing, selling, and partner relationship configurations.

Both channel businesses and their vendor suppliers are vested in understanding how solution portfolios are changing and how the channel and vendor communities can best work together to bring solutions to market. These are complex questions, but their answers are at the heart of a wide range of sales, marketing, and executive imperatives. This study provides valuable input to those discussions.

Aligning to Changing Solution Portfolios

The starting point for an analysis of alignment to changing solution portfolios is the portfolios themselves – what is the channel selling, and how fast is revenue associated with these offerings expected to grow? Data shows that more than 80% of partner firms are selling cloud and/or collaboration, and more than 60% sell customer experience, employee experience, or analytics solutions. From a growth perspective, 80% or more of channel members anticipate growth in cloud and 5G, and 70% or more expect growth in collaboration, analytics, SD-WAN, virtualization, and/or SD-WAN.

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Red Hat’s ecosystem initiative gains momentum with new partnerships with SAP, Oracle, and Google Cloud

Open Hybrid Cloud, a strategy for architecting, developing, and operating a hybrid mix of applications, delivering a flexible cloud experience with the agility, stability, security, control, and scale required for digital business transformation, is the North Star for IBM and Red Hat. Open Hybrid Cloud is a computing model that combines the benefits of public and private clouds and on-premises and edge infrastructure. It is a complex paradigm to comprehend, and Open Hybrid Cloud is a multifaceted and challenging undertaking for all organizations. However, one of the critical advantages of an Open Hybrid cloud is that it enables organizations to leverage the power of a partner ecosystem. And empowering a robust ecosystem that delivers Open Hybrid Cloud is the guiding principle of Stefanie Chiras, SVP, Red Hat Partner Ecosystem Success. In a discussion with me, she said, “Red Hat’s strategy on Open Hybrid Cloud is dependent upon our ecosystem; the value of it only gets delivered with our ecosystem. And as we tout the value of the flexibility, the scalability, having a secure, security-focused mindset, being driven by the platform, but that optionality that comes with it is only delivered through the ecosystem.”

Red Hat’s ecosystem initiative is powering on with three key announcements:

1. Red Hat partnership with SAP for RISE with SAP
2. Red Hat partnership with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
3. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform on Google Cloud Marketplace

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