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Emmanuel Asika, Country Head at HP Nigeria

Steering growth: Developments behind partner success in the channel ecosystem  By Emmanuel Asika

Over time, we have seen that growth and success in the channel ecosystem have been mainly aided by collaborations or partnerships. As businesses steer through the intricacies of today’s competitive environment, it is impossible not to appreciate the significance of the contributions of partners. This partner growth has been aided by some crucial developments, namely: purpose-driven business models, enhanced insights, as well as the ability to scale up capabilities relevant to future competition. These developments are rewriting the undercurrents of partnerships and propelling businesses to higher levels.

Clear Purpose Collaborations: Keeping Sustainability at the Heart of Business 

These days, the word ‘sustainability’ has gone beyond being a mere slogan. It is now a deliberate notion of vital importance for businesses in Nigeria. With customers becoming more aware of, and basing their choices on environmental protection, collaborating with purpose-driven partners becomes vital. A couple of years ago, only 58 percent of shoppers across all groups considered sustainability over the price of items. Fast forward to the present, and over 66 percent of consumers declared that they will rather pay for environmental-friendly products.

This trend is also gradually catching on in Nigeria where a study found that consumers’ attitudes (cognitive, affective and conative attitudes) are positively and significantly correlated to sustainable consumption. Although the results of the interviews conducted among marketers and retailers revealed that such attitudes do not reflect in their buying behaviour, judging by the sluggish sales of sustainable products when compared to unsustainable products. But more and more Nigerians are taking recycling serious.

As a result, the onus is on businesses, and for their own interest, to take environmental protection seriously and take measures that will positively impact the areas in which they operate. They have to realise that the ability to pull resources together allows for more balance and effect for a better tomorrow. In addition, this helps growth, as 83 percent business leaders are the opinion that sustainability programmes provide immediate and long-term value for their respective companies.

In Nigeria, which accounts for more than 150,000 metric tons of plastic bottles annually, half of it from the megacity of Lagos, business leaders are taking sustainability seriously, adopting sustainable practices for effective waste management, including total quality management, recycling, bio treatment, incinerations, neutralization and secure sanitary landfills.

At HP, sustainability collaborations with its channel partners including vendors and resellers, have produced amazing results, with its Amplify Impact programme enabling the promotion of positive change to create a more advanced channel environment. The first of-its-kind partner assessment, resource, and training program, the HP Amplify Impact, has allowed more than 3,500 partners to drive change and utilise sustainability as a competitive advantage. Over the last 14 months, these HP Amplify Impact cohorts initiated over 7,000 transactions, all thanks to sustainability. This shows what purpose-driven partnerships can do.

In addition, in 2022, more than 60% of HP’s revenue achieved its Corporate Knights standard for sustainable income. This milestone is a testimony of the significance of including sustainability as a vital business driver. We have long believed that by collaborating with organisations with similar ideas, we can produce a potent domino effect, promoting sustainable practices that aligns with the thoughts of consumers.

Utilising Insights from Data for Well-Informed Decisions 

Without a doubt, data is the prevalent tool of the computer age, and the importance of properly utilising it for competitive business leads cannot be underrated. And those who base their decision making on data have seen their businesses grow twice as fast as those who don’t.

As such, data analytics collaborations are indispensable for the growth of businesses. Should you choose to go at it on your own, you may not have enough data to recognise significant and relevant developments. As observed, data partnerships are on the increase. In fact, a recent McKinsey study forecasts that by 2025, data-driven organisations will start data collaborations to produce more valuable insights for all partners.

Currently, HP’s Amplify Data Insights programme provides partners access to a vast pool of more than 20 billion data points, and this is updated weekly. HP has found that merging its data with that of its partners offers concrete trade opportunities. In the past three years, 98% of qualified partners have chosen to report data, and this partnership tactic enables partners to identify evolving developments, recognise consumer choices, and spot gaps in the market, thus putting them ahead in their respective sectors.

In Nigeria, we have seen Partners begin to embrace data and Amplify Insights despite initial scepticism. Today, the programme validates itself with accurate predictions and niche opportunity creation within the growing Nigerian market.

Welcoming a Future-Ready Approach 

Faced by economic uncertainties and ever-changing consumer habits, partners are constantly reassessing their business tactics. The shift to online and digital marketplaces has provoked a dramatic change in their tactic, forcing them to embrace a future-ready mentality. To overcome these challenges, partners are looking to inventive channel programmes intended to raise alertness, interpretation, growth, and partnership. These programmes serve as guides through the age of digital revolution and provide the growing wishes of socially aware customers. During and post pandemic, this helped HP transition key partners to have strong online and digital spaces. In some cases, we literally built these platforms from scratch. The optimisation these solutions bring to our partners is at the heart of our Future Ready proposition.

In recognition of the importance of giving its partners power and control over their own affairs, HP has announced a number of innovative partner benefits and programme improvements under the auspices of the HP Amplify initiative. This places emphasis on creating competences, promoting partnerships, and improving performance. Interestingly, the HP Amplify programme has participants from 99% of revenue partners worldwide.

More determined than ever before to sustain the tempo of its channel-led business model, HP continues to adjust its method on the back of consumer comments and an unwavering promise to continually drive long-term partner growth. With a future-ready mindset and the backing of ingenious partner programmes, companies and businesses are ready to not only overcome present tasks but also come out tougher and more prosperous.

 Asika is Country Head, HP Nigeria 

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