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Channel data management has gone mainstream - Zyme CEO

Sep 23, 2016; By Tom Wright, CRN


Zyme offers a Saas platform to vendors that collates data from its distributors

Zyme offers a Saas platform to vendors that collates data from its distributors

Channel data management (CDM) has become a mainstream concept over the last 12 months, according to Zyme CEO Chandran Sankaran.

Zyme offers a software-as-as-service platform to large vendors that collates data from their distributors, across 200 countries, and helps them interpret the information to make informed decisions around issues including channel inventory and partner rebates.

Sankaran claims that the channel is now becoming more aware of the concept of CDM, and that high-level bosses in a number of large vendors are being appointed specifically to manage channel data.

"It's gone mainstream in the last year," he said. "In the last 12 months what's happened is channel data management has gone from being this boutique capability that a few companies were experimenting with globally, to becoming mainstream."

Sankaran claimed that around 15 per cent of the channel market have now moved to CDM solutions such as Zyme, while the other 85 per cent are still battling internally to collate their own channel data.

He claimed that, as pioneers of CDM and creators of the term, Zyme is one step ahead of its competitors and holds a 65-70 per cent share of the market.

With this data, he said, vendors can see how well they are performing in particular regions and can look to recruit partners in specific areas where their coverage is not as strong as it should be.

"Anyone who sells indirectly knows how much they ship in the channel but traditionally have had only a foggy view of what happens after that," he said.

"Zyme's business is getting data from thousands of distributors, making sense of it and reporting it to manufacturers in a form that they can consume and change the way they're running their channel."

Speaking to CRN Mailin Boeker, senior manager of business operations in EMEA at Acer, said the vendor started working with Zyme in 2010 and until that point only had an internal system to collect channel data which involved speaking to every distributor individually.

She explained that Acer began by piloting the Zyme system in three European countries - Germany, France and the UK - before difficulty in its Spanish channel led to the write off of "quite some millions" in inventory and triggered a rollout of the Zyme solution across Europe.

"Before I could have a rough overview, but now by Tuesday every week I can see how 80 per cent of the market was doing the previous week," she said.

"As soon as we see that goods are ageing in the channel they are getting more expensive for us every day, so we have to move quickly.

"Every week on Monday or Tuesday countries have reviews internally where they look are which goods are moving, which goods are not moving - so they can have a sales execution for the following two weeks and put additional tactics in place."

The benefit to partners of CDM, Boeker claimed, is that vendors can issue back-end bonuses far more quickly than before because they don't have to wait to receive information from each individual partner - it all comes to them from the distributor through the Zyme solution.