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Distribution channels are an important dynamic when evaluating current and future trends within the communications market.  Vendors can build their solutions based on customer and market requirements, but finding the correct route to market is critical for short and long term success.

Within the consumer market the incumbent service provider has always held a relatively significant position as they will frequently market a range of devices along side their network solutions.  In some cases bundled network service and product packages have delivered strong results for the incumbent service providers .  Service providers are now typically deploying a range of channels including their own tele-sales, catalogues, on-line shops, network of retail outlets and increasingly have ensured that their products are also available through other retail outlets (both street based and on line).

Within the enterprise market there has been a growing trend away from direct sales to customers towards channel based sales.  However, despite this in many territories direct sales remains significant notably for contact centres and large PBXs/IP PBXs and associated applications.  The mix of 1 tier and 2 tier channel significance varies considerably by country with in some countries, such as the UK, a very developed 2 tier channel existing where as in other markets (like Germany) single tier remains notably significant. Incumbent service providers and new network operators also remain a significant channel for PBXs/IP PBXs and applications and each vendors relationship with these service providers plays a critical part in their success.  As the voice and data markets converge, IT channels are increasingly important in the market as offerings evolve from voice to true collaboration solutions.


MZA's coverage of distribution channel dynamics falls into two categories:

  • Ongoing Services coverage
  • Custom Consulting coverage

Ongoing Services

Within MZA's ongoing service the following distribution channels topics are analysed:

  • Who are the major service providers in each territory and what routes to market are they deploying?
  • Who are the key vendor partners for each of the leading service providers?
  • Who are the major new network operators active and what relationships do they have with the leading vendors?
  • Which vendors are still deploying direct sales and how significant is this part of their business?
  • Who are the leading 2 tier distributors active in each territory and what is their portfolio?
  • Who are the leading 1 tier resellers active in each territory and how is their position evolving?
  • What routes to market are deployed by each of the leading vendors?
  • What share of total demand do service providers account for?
  • What share of total demand does direct sales account for and how is this share evolving?
  • How significant is 2 tier distribution and is its share growing or declining?
  • How significant are 1 tier resellers/VARs and how has their position changed over the past years?

Custom Consulting Services

MZA's coverage of distribution channels within our "Ongoing Services" is augmented by our portfolio of custom consulting services in this area.

Examples of projects undertaken in the field of distribution channel analysis include:

  • Identification of the leading vendors of PBXs/IP PBXs top 5 reseller partners in key European countries
  • Profiling the major distributors of communications equipment in France and Germany
  • Analysis of key reseller revenues by product line and vendor partner
  • Analysis of reseller perceptions of key PBX/IP PBX and applications vendors

For further information please refer to Custom Consulting or Contact Us.