Services Growth Strategies – partner and services types

June 18, 2010 at 12:33 am Leave a comment

Beth Vanni – Director, Market Intelligence

In our Q2 Study focused on, “Engaging the Services Partner,” we discovered a high correlation between those partner types that are most mature and those that are expected to grow the most in 2010.

In this research, we first assessed which partner segments vendors are actively engaging with and which they feel have been most successful with to date. Although global SI’s were deemed to be the most mature partner segment for most vendors, they were ranked as the second most successful historically. Conversely, regional SI’s were ranked as the second most mature partner segment but were ranked as the partner segment with the most historic success. (To get the actual percentages, download the study here.) Both groups have been core to offering industry-specific professional and managed services, and many vendors have had long-standing channel programs acknowledging the value of sales influencers and services-delivery partners.

Service or infrastructure providers, a partner segment in the limelight these days as managed services and cloud computing becomes more common, ranked #3 for both maturity and success. Although many vendors producing infrastructure software and hardware have been actively building programs to recruit and engage managed service providers (MSPs), this partner segment remains lower in the rating of maturity and success. We attribute this to the newness of the segment and a lack of a meaningful track record with these providers.

Next, we looked at services the solution provider respondents are offering today. The more common services are the partner’s own service practices and technical support of their own products or applications, over the sale of the vendor’s services offerings. The largest segment of solution providers indicate they derive about a third of their revenues from delivering their own professional services. By contrast, more than half of respondents indicated they derive less than 11% of their revenues from selling the vendor’s packaged and delivered professional services. This supports the lack of alignment between vendors continued focus on the partner as sales agent vs. the partners desire to build unique offerings and be in control of the scope and economics of their own services offerings.

When it comes to which services are expected to grow, managed services ranked first. This was an expected result, as many regional VARs and service providers have been investing in managed infrastructure or application services for the last 5-7 years and evolving their pricing and service level agreements. Business process or management consulting was ranked as the second highest growth service category. This surprised us a bit, as this isn’t the typical core competency of the “average” regional solution provider. The moderate growth categories were topped by post-sale technical support and post-sale integration (professional) services.

For the full study, go to the Amazon Consulting Resource Center.


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