How the Channel can help business wake up to automation

As automation transforms the way we all work, the Channel must collaborate, integrate and educate businesses on how to adapt
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As automation transforms the way we all work, the Channel must collaborate, integrate and educate businesses on how to adapt
Dean McGlone

By Dean McGlone, sales director at V1

Automation is set to transform every corner of the business world. But, with new research from Future Advocacy suggesting it poses a threat to the workplace, many organisations fail to see the positive disruption that automation can bring. The reality is that people shouldn’t be worried – it’s this scaremongering that is clouding organisations’ perceptions and hampering the adoption of new technologies.

Automation needs to be seen as a force for good in business – it may even create new jobs. Perceptions are already changing, albeit slowly. For example, global research from Sage revealed that accountants have a huge appetite for automation. The good news is that some finance departments have already quenched their thirst for such technology. Purchase Invoice Automation (PIA), for example, has become a key part of many organisations’ finance transformation plans. Accounts payable teams get more time and so can focus on higher value activities and, in many cases, this leads to organisations looking for finance teams with higher skillset levels. So automation is an opportunity – not a threat – to the workplace.

But how can the Channel help in waking up businesses to this fact? The answer is in collaboration, integration and education. We live in a connected world and, as a result, businesses are far more likely to purchase a product that they can integrate tightly in their existing product portfolio. Technology vendors need to work better together, demonstrating how their products can provide one end-to-end solution for automating key business processes.

Vendors must also work more closely with distributors, retailers and resellers to provide ongoing education and awareness. If the Channel works as a collective, offering customers a package that makes automation both accessible and positive, the consequence is that like-minded partners will see a significant increase in their own sales.

An example of this collaboration is with Sage and V1. Our PIA solution is integrated tightly into the core of Sage X3 and many resellers are reporting that automation has helped them increase average order values and even win new business for Sage. This increased demand represents a huge opportunity. In fact, in the last few weeks alone, we have signed up 10 new customers through our Sage partners.

Automation is absolutely an opportunity – but it’s up to the Channel to build confidence among organisations. Partnerships encourage mutual business growth and, if we can achieve that, we can wake more organisations up to the positives impact of automation and turn those pessimistic reports on their heads. 

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