A channel partner is a third-party organization that sells products and services for a technology manufacturer or vendor. This technology may include hardware, traditional software, Software as a Service (SaaS), or cloud computing solutions.
The channel partner is part of the vendor’s indirect sales force, meaning that they sell the products and services on behalf of the vendor but they are an independent company. They may also sell products and services produced by other vendors as well as items they develop themselves. The difference between a channel partner and a distributor lies in the fact that the former partners with a manufacturer in order to market and sell its products or services, while the latter only acts as a supplier of goods and services to retailers.