A great channel partner is in the eye of the beholder and can depend on whom you ask. Analysts, industry groups, IT vendors, and customers all have their own views on the best IT channel partners.
The diversity of channel categories also makes it hard to identify the top players, ranging from managed service providers (MSPs), system integrators, and other big players to others like telecom sub-agents or even small regional specialized practices. There are still some “resellers” and value-added resellers (VARs) kicking around, even though shrinking margins have forced most into more of an MSP model.
Ultimately, the right channel partner is the one that best meets your needs, but there are a number of qualities that make for a good channel partner. For the best IT channel partners in 2022, organizations with extensive consulting or enterprise IT experience continue to be in the best position to bridge the gap between IT vendors and business clients. Several top picks leverage their existing business partnerships to offer the latest digital solutions to organizations around the world. Source technologies offered by IT partners listed and firm experience in developing curated solutions are critical indicators in evaluating this year’s best.
Here are our picks for the 22 best IT channel partners in 2022. Read on to learn more about types of partners and considerations for finding the right IT channel partner.
Best IT Channel Partners
Professional services consultancy Accenture tops the best IT channel partners list for 2022. Accenture offers solutions for applications, cybersecurity, automation, cloud infrastructure, and supply chain management for IT services. In 1989, the former Arthur Anderson business and technology consulting division spun off to form Anderson Consulting before adopting the name Accenture in 2001. Accenture boasts a huge workforce, with over 670,000 personnel supporting 6,000 clients in 120 countries.
Accenture currently has 185 partners in their ecosystem, with core partners listed as Adobe, AWS, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, ServiceNow, and Workday.
In 1997, a series of mergers and acquisitions began Atos’ rise as a global IT services and consulting leader. With 105,000 employees in 71 countries, the French digital solutions company focuses on the globe’s future and strives to help clients achieve carbon neutrality. As a dedicated IT services vendor, Atos solution areas cover cybersecurity, customer experience, IoT, infrastructure, digital consulting, and more.
Atos’ global alliances include 29 well-known technology and channel partners, including Automation Anywhere, Cisco, Cloudera, Dell, Esri, F5, Hitachi Vantara, HPE, IBM, Juniper Networks, McAfee, NetApp, Pega, Siemens, Snowflake, VMware, and Red Hat.
Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has six decades under its belt to prove its multinational management consulting abilities. The business strategy pioneer’s global footprint includes more than 90 offices in 50 countries and 22,000 employees tackling the migration to digital solutions. BCG capabilities are aligned with the IT space, including business transformation, innovation strategy and delivery, and data solutions. With BCG Platinion, clients have access to an expert team for building an IT architecture.
BCG’s global partnership network includes more than 100 with a handful of the top technology vendors, including Adobe, AWS, DataRobot, Meta, Google Cloud, IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce, SAP, and Wipro.
Also read: The Channel Outlook for 2022: Get Ready for Major Change
Since its beginnings, Capgemini has been about enterprise management data processing. Launched in 1967, the Paris-based IT vendor and consultancy has grown with several acquisitions, including a part of EY’s consulting practices in 2000. Capgemini’s network includes 290,000 professionals in almost 50 countries. Listed solutions Capgemini specializes in include digital transformation, technology operations, and services for digital, cloud, and business systems.
Capgemini has over 30 global technology partners, including several key strategic alliances with Adobe, AWS, Microsoft, MuleSoft, Oracle, Salesforce, and SAP. Other notable partners include CA Technologies, Cloudera, Databricks, Dynatrace, Intel, Micro Focus, NetSuite, PTC, SAS, Teradata, UiPath, and Workday.
Launched in 1976, CGI is a multinational IT consultancy and systems integrator hailing from Quebec. CGI’s global footprint today includes 400 offices in more than 40 countries securing the business relationships of its 80,000 consultants and professionals. For services, CGI offers managed IT, applications, infrastructure, and business process solutions in addition to its business consulting and system integration services.
CGI’s partner ecosystem includes 150 vendors with featured partners like AWS, Automation Anywhere, BluePrism, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, SAP, ServiceNow, and UiPath. Other notable partners include Apache, CloudFoundry, Denodo, Esri, Gartner, GitHub, Hyland, IDC, Magento, Smartlogic, and Solarwinds.
CDW is a B2B technology solutions provider with a reputable brand name for the IT industry. Founded in 1984, the Illinois-based vendor grew dramatically in the 2000s leading to its IPO and several acquisitions, including Sirius Computer Solutions in 2021. CDW currently employs 11,000 employees in 28 locations, supporting a quarter of a million customers. Though limited to the US, UK, and Canada in the past, CDW’s global footprint expanded to three additional continents and over 150 countries.
CDW’s partners include more than 1,000 tech brands giving clients access to 250,000 technology products. Notable IT partners include AMD, Apple, Barracuda, Bitdefender, CrowdStrike, Cybereason, FireEye, Fujitsu, Honeywell, Lenovo, LogMeIn, Okta, Palo Alto Networks, Samsung, Seagate, Sophos, Tableau, Tenable, Veeam, WatchGuard, and Xerox.
Born as Dun & Bradstreet’s information technology division in 1994, Cognizant is one of the leading IT services and consulting providers. Cognizant’s services include cloud enablement, enterprise application management, infrastructure services, and intelligent process automation. Cognizant has headquarters just outside NYC in Teaneck, New Jersey, with additional offices in 37 countries and a worldwide workforce of 318,400 employees. Last year’s performance data shows almost 93% of Cognizant’s revenue splits between North America (74%) and Europe (19%).
Cognizant holds over 40 strategic partnerships and 120 extended partnerships to give clients various solution options. Strategic alliances include Adobe, AWS, Cisco, Cloudera, Cyberark, Google, Guidewire, IBM, Informatica, Microsoft, Nutanix, Oracle, Pega, Phillips, PTC, Qlik, Red Hat, Salesforce, SAP, Software AG, TIBCO, UiPath, and VMware.
Read more: Top Cloud Managed Service Providers & Leaders of 2021
London-based Deloitte, launched in 1845, grew to become one of the world’s top audit and advisory firms and remains a top consideration for IT channel partners in 2022. Deloitte shines in general business strategy, but their growing IT services include consulting for enterprise technology, cyber risk auditing, analytics, and cloud solutions. Deloitte’s network of professional services firms is present in 150 countries with more than 330,000 employees.
Deloitte’s ecosystems and alliance relationships include partnerships with over 125 technology vendors, including Anaplan, Beyond Trust, BlackLine, Blue Prism, CA Technologies, Cloudera, Coupa, Cyberark, Infor, Microstrategy, NVIDIA, OpenText, Oracle, Saviynt, ServiceNow, Snowflake, and Splunk.
In 2017, the industry veteran Computer Science Corporation (CSC) and the enterprise services segment of HPE merged to become the IT giant DXC Technology. Dedicated to digital solutions for clients, DXC offers solutions for cloud infrastructure, applications, engineering, security, and IT outsourcing. The vendor continues to grow five years later, with 130,000 employees in over 70 countries.
DXC Technology offers a robust technology stack for enterprises with more than 200 IT vendor partnerships. Spotlighted partners listed by DXC include AT&T, AWS, Dell, Google Cloud, HP, IBM, Micro Focus, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, ServiceNow, and VMware.
EPAM Systems has become a dominant solutions provider in three decades, offering expertise and solutions for cloud modernization, DevOps, enterprise apps, API integration, and robotic process automation (RPA). Entering 2021, the Pennsylvania-based company has almost 53,000 employees in more than 40 countries. EPAM also offers three in-house brands available to clients in TelescopeAI, InfoNgen, and EPAM Continuum.
The EPAM Systems includes 26 digital partners and 23 technology partners. Some of the top IT partners listed include AWS, Appian, Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, Celonis, Calypso, Google Cloud, IBM, Informatica, MetricStream, Microsoft, MongoDB, Mulesoft, SAP, ServiceNow, Snowflake, TIBCO, UiPath, and WorkFusion.
Also read: Top Vendor Risk Management (VRM) Software 2022
Ernst & Young (EY)
Like Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY) is a historic professional services provider with more than a century of experience contributing to its enterprise management solutions. Though the worldwide vendor has a robust suite in traditional advisory services, its IT solutions include advanced technology for digital transformation use cases and digital solutions for taxes, audits, and connected capital. EY’s global presence is massive, including 300,000 employees across 700 offices in 150 countries.
EY’s alliance and ecosystem relationships include almost 50 of the top technology vendors in the world. EY’s relationships include Adobe, Blue Prism, Enableon, Microsoft, Pega, SAP, SAS, and ServiceNow as a leading IT channel partner.
Just outside New Delhi, six engineers launched HCL Technologies in 1976 at the start of personal computing. In 1991, its R&D division emerged to become the core of today’s business, offering engineering for products and platforms, operational technology services, and digital business solutions. HCL’s global footprint extends across 50 countries with over 187,000 employees today.
HCL Technologies’ ecosystem of partners includes almost 150 top IT companies. Notable vendors listed include AppDynamics, Atlassian, Blue Yonder, BMC, Broadcom, Celonis, Denodo, Domino, Duck Creek, DXC, GE, Hyperledger, NTT, Nutanix, OpenText, Pega, PTC, SnapLogic, Software AG, TIBCO, Texas Instruments, Virtustream, and WorkFusion.
Unlike other featured companies, IBM is both a premier channel partner and a world-class solutions vendor. The technology pioneer offers a growing list of end-to-end digital services, IT services, and consulting, including solutions for blockchain, hybrid infrastructure, analytics, e-commerce, and more for technology services. The IBM workforce includes 350,000 employees between 130 offices in almost 100 countries.
IBM holds strategic partnerships with several top IT vendors, including Adobe, Apple, AWS, Cisco, Microsoft, Salesforce, Samsung, SAP, and Workday.
Read more: MSPs with Data Protection Expertise Are in Demand
Forty years after its launch, Infosys is a global digital service and consulting leader. The Infosys technology stack includes various services across digital experiences, analytics, infrastructure modernization, and innovative solutions for blockchain, engineering, and IoT. The India-based company holds a presence in more than 50 countries, with 292,000 employees serving 1,700 clients.
Infosys has alliance partnerships with 80 IT vendors, including Appan, Apptio, Calypso, Cohesity, Coupa, Databricks, EMC, Equinix, Hitachi Vantara, HPE, Huawei, MetricStream, Microsoft, MongoDB, Nokia, Perfecto, Pivotal, SAP, Salesforce, Talend, Teradata, and Worksoft.
Started as a mail-order computer business in 1988, Insight Enterprises has come a long way from the Crown brothers dorm room. The Arizona-based vendor’s solution stack covers digital innovation, supply chain optimization, cloud and data center transformation, and connected workforce services. Insight currently has over 11,000 employees between its 100 office locations in 20 countries.
Insight’s partnership ecosystem includes Apple, Broadcom Symantec, Commvault, Datadog, Erwin, Fortinet, IBM, Intel, Kaspersky Lab, Nutanix, OpenText, Proofpoint, Red Hat, and Zoom.
Global accounting firm KPMG International was the first in a series of mega-mergers in 1987 and continues to have success in enterprise auditing and advisory services over three decades later. Working in 145 countries, KPMG employs more than 236,000 people worldwide to help deliver services to nonprofits, government agencies, businesses, and more. For IT solutions, KPMG offers its advisory services for digital adoption and transformation and KPMG Private Enterprise for access to a trusted advisor.
KPMG works with a bundle of technology vendors for strategic alliance partners, including Alibaba Cloud, Coupa, Flexera, Google Cloud, Microsoft, RSA, Sailpoint, SAS, and Thomson Reuters.
Also read: Best Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Software 2022
In a testament to IBM’s strength in the global technology space, in late 2021, the vendor spun out its IT infrastructure services division into the newly created Kyndryl. The new brand in the market starts with over 88,000 professionals working in more than 100 countries. For the moment, Kyndryl’s solutions cover advisory and implementation services, cybersecurity, cloud infrastructure, application, and edge network solutions.
For IT partners, Kyndryl is a premier global alliance partner with Microsoft with other notable partners listed as AWS, Cisco, Google Cloud, IBM, Lenovo, NetApp, Red Hat, SAP, and VMware.
McKinsey & Company
McKinsey & Company is the oldest and largest of the Big Three management consulting firms featured, offering a comprehensive and evolving business services stack. Almost a century after its founding, the consulting giant has a network of 30,000 colleagues working in 120 countries and offices in over 65 countries and 130 cities. Pertinent to the IT space, McKinsey’s solution areas cover digital services for analytics, design, technology, and scaling businesses.
McKinsey’s technology partners include Activision, Affiniti, Anaplan, Boardwalktech, Ceros, Cogito, ContentSquare, Erwin, FourKites, MachineMetrics, Newgen, PTC, Refinitiv, and ThoughtSpot.
Once Japan’s sole telecommunications provider, NTT was already an enterprise organization when the company went private in 1985. The Tokyo-based vendor is a global leader in digital transformation solutions, with services and products covering cybersecurity, network architecture, customer experience, cloud infrastructure, and international data centers. Four decades later. NTT serves 11,000 clients in 200 countries with the help of a 300,000 strong workforce and 154 offices.
For featured IT partners, NTT lists Cisco, Dell, Microsoft, and Palo Alto Networks, with additional partners of note including Check Point, Fortinet, Genesys, Juniper Networks, Riverbed, Splunk, and VMware.
Rounding out the Big Four accounting firms featured, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is the transnational network of firms offering professional services like assurance and consulting and increasingly digital solutions. PwC offers cloud and digital operations solutions, cybersecurity and risk management, managed services, and digital security for IT capabilities. Though PwC also dates to 19th century consulting, its current iteration results from a 1998 merger of two London accounting firms. PwC’s global footprint is immense, with over 720 international offices in 156 countries supporting more than 295,000 professionals.
PwC has almost 60 alliance partners listed, including Adobe, AWS, Google Cloud, Guidewire, Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, Wokiva, and Workday.
Read more: Best Incident Response Tools for MSPs and MSSPs in 2022
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
Mumbai-based Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is the global IT services, consulting, and business solution provider with the largest market capitalization in the world as of 2021. With almost 530,000 employees representing 157 nationalities, TCS also tops the list of top employers while maintaining offices in 46 countries. Core services listed for prospective TCS clients include analytics, cognitive computing, cybersecurity, enterprise applications, cloud, and IoT solutions.
The TCS network of partners includes 130 top IT software developers, providers, platforms, and infrastructure vendors like AWS, Google Cloud, IBM, HPE, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, and SAP. Other notable partners include Datadog, Dell, Flexera, Ivalua, Micro Focus, Ping Identity, Qlik, SailPoint, SAS, ServiceNow, Teradata, Thales, Twilio, UiPath, Zendesk, Zoho, and Zscaler.
Starting as Western India Products in 1945, Wipro transitioned to the budding IT services industry in the 1970s before becoming one of the most dominant global consulting and business process vendors. Wipro’s service offerings include applications, digital operations, infrastructure services, data, analytics, and artificial intelligence. Wipro has 160 office locations across 42 countries for geographic presence, supporting more than 220,000 employees.
For IT channel partners, Wipro has 80 top vendors listed as strategic partnerships, including AWS, Apple, Broadcom, Cloudflare, Coupa, Crowdstrike, Cyberark, Cybereason, Denodo, Forcepoint, Hitachi Vantara, Infor, Informatica, Intel, Microsoft, Mindmatrix, MuleSoft, NetApp, Nutanix, Oracle, Red Hat, Salesforce, SAP, ServiceNow, Software AG, TIBCO, and VMware.
What is an IT Channel Partner?
IT channel partners are organizations partnering with hardware manufacturers, software developers, and service providers to deliver, market, or sell a solution to end customers. Also known as indirect sales partners, IT channel partners are essential to large enterprises seeking to distribute their products to a global audience.
Many top IT channel partners are veteran consultancies with the established global network, resources, and expertise needed to bridge the gap between technology innovators and SMB to enterprise organizations.
Types of IT Channel Partners
- Cloud Service Provider (CSP)
- Digital Marketing Agency
- Distributor or Service Delivery Providers
- Education and Training Provider
- Independent Software Vendor (ISV)
- Information Technology Consultancy
- Managed Service Provider (MSP)
- Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)
- System Integrator
- Value-Added Reseller (VAR)
Also read: Top Channel Incentive Management Software of 2022
How to Find a Great SMB Channel Partner
Several organizations are supporting small-to-medium business (SMB) channel partners. They say you can tell the quality by the company they keep, which is valid for channel partners. Perhaps the best place to seek a great channel partner is in the Partners list of the provider of the primary technology you desire to deploy.
Consider the Core Technology at Play
For example, if you’re seeking deployment of networking equipment, such as routers and switches, begin with the manufacturer of the networking equipment you prefer. If you haven’t yet determined which you like, look at the lists for the best-known networking makers. Most IT manufacturers that sell through the channel have tiered programs. While these recognize the more capable partners, they also identify those making the most significant investments in training, support, and preparedness.
Most vendor partner lists feature filters that help narrow your search by showing your list by specific geography, specializations, and other factors.
Finding the Right Business Partner
Once you’ve narrowed your list, the website for each channel partner can provide significant insight, and you can search for reviews and other articles involving your choices. When you do winnow your list down to a few finalists, it’s time to explore the most important of all criteria: Do you like them?
At first glance, this may seem like an odd criterion for choosing a channel partner. But technology has become far more than just the equipment you have installed and connected. Technology has become a key weapon in the quest for strategic advantage, so it becomes part of your business decision-making effort. Remember, most of the top players on the top lists started as business consultants.
Today’s channel partner is truly a business partner to its customers. Any interview with a finalist should focus on how well the candidate will perform as a strategic business partner. How well can they advise on the best technology strategies to support specific business initiatives? What ROI can they provide? Their certifications may attest to their technical understanding, but only a customer can determine strategic value.
Read more: Best Email Security Providers & Services 2022
Top Technology Vendors Partnering with IT Channel Partners
Our annual review of the IT channel landscape revealed several overlapping partnerships with technology vendors between the top IT partners.
This article was originally written by Howard M. Cohen on August 31, 2020, and updated by Sam Ingalls on January 14, 2022.