Archive for March, 2011

Can’t Live with ‘Em, Can’t Live Without ‘Em:

Vendor/Partner Cloud Engagement Models Emerge

by Beth Vanni, Vice President

With both vendors and channel partners jumping on the bandwagon to evolve their services sales and delivery models to reflect a more holistic support offering to the customer, cloud solutions continue to come into the limelight.  And, despite the industry FUD about solution provider disintermediation in the cloud era, current research indicates vendors will continue their dependency on solution providers for customer management around cloud solutions.

The results of our 2011 State of Partnering Study reinforce the importance of close sales and support coordination between vendors and solution providers in promoting both public, private and hybrid cloud solutions in today’s market.  With input from 100 unique vendors, this year’s study results indicate maturing cloud delivery models among the IT vendor community, and expectation for partner involvement are coming into focus. (more…)


March 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm Leave a comment

Plan Your Work and Work your Plan

Does Vendor/Partner Business Planning Really Lead to Results?

by Beth Vanni, Vice President

If IT vendors and solution providers have learned anything from the turmoil of the past few years, it’s the importance of engaging in meaningful business planning – both individually and together.  As signs of recovery come into focus, it’s imperative that both vendors and solution providers understand their mutual dependencies and be able to anticipate each other’s plans and resources to set the stage for future growth.

Our 2011 State of Partnering Study identifies business planning as a highly strategic activity vendors plan to continue to engage in this year.  87% of our 100 vendor respondents said they would continue business planning with their more valued partners and another 48% said they would expand business planning to their next tier of developing partners.  They plan to accomplish two things:  a). better anticipate their partners’ business model evolution and help them navigate and b). assist with partner profitability. (more…)

March 24, 2011 at 3:47 pm Leave a comment

2011 Partnering Trends: Ease of Doing Business and Partner Sales Skills Emerge as Focus

The preliminary results are in from our 5th annual State of Partnering vendor research.  This year’s study was the biggest and most comprehensive yet – with over 100 unique global IT vendors participating – and analyzes in detail the plans and priorities of the vendor community, both looking back on 2010 and ahead to 2011.  This year’s early results show a very specific focus on two long-term issues: increasing ease of doing business and increasing partner sales competency.

When looking at their top challenges for 2010, the top issue for vendors (67%) was recruiting the right partners to provide coverage and capabilities in target markets.  This makes sense, given the continual process the vendor community has engaged in of requalifying partners, and refocusing efforts on key industry penetration and providing growth support to top-performing partners.   But, right behind that was the challenge of becoming easier to do business with.  In fact more than a third of respondents indicated this was their top priority again for 2011 (third highest ranked).   It was ranked fourth in overall priorities in last year’s study and third the year before that.   Clearly, this is an issue most larger vendors cannot solve completely in a year or two.

The focus on increasing sales competency has been consistent in our research over the last several years as well.  In last year’s study it emerged for the first time as the #1 vendor priority (for 2010).  So, when it appeared this year as the #1 priority again.

Download the Executive Brief from the study for more insights.

March 14, 2011 at 6:00 pm 3 comments

HP SMB Central

by Diane Krakora, CEO

HP today launched HP SMB Central, an online portal designed to help HP channel partners seize the $57 billion SMB market opportunity with easy access to resources and support to enable business growth.  Targeted at resellers who serve small businesses with 10 – 500 employees, HP SMB Central provides authorized HP channel partners, who register on the new portal, with a direct connection to sales and marketing support, real-time answers to questions, and information on products and solutions across the entire HP portfolio. Watch Diane Krakora’s vBlog for an overview of the announcement.

March 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm Leave a comment

IBM Mid-Market Plans

by Diane Krakora, CEO

IBM realizes that more than 70% of mid-sized business view their IT providers as trusted advisors. They’re investing $100m in marketing to support a partner-led route-to-market strategy in this segment. This investment will drive activities such as co-marketing for demand generation, engines of a Smarter Planet advertising, social media marketing, marketing agency support and virtual briefing centers. Watch Diane Krakora’s brief video BLOG on the key mid-market points from the IBM Partner Summit in Orlando, Florida.

March 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm Leave a comment

What Business Influencers Want from Vendors

by Beth Vanni, Vice President

For IT vendors, partnering with business influencers is becoming an increasingly critical way to gain a new level of relevancy with end users in the current competitive and tight economy. When it comes to what they expect from their vendors, these solution providers have needs that are very different from traditional channel partners. As our recent research study, Influencing the Influencers: How IT Vendors are Leveraging Partners to Create Business Relevance shows, many vendors and influencers are struggling to meet each other’s expectations as they attempt to put processes in place to leverage each other’s assets and go to market together in a way that demonstrated business impact.

When it comes to what business influencers want from their vendors, our research uncovered three key expectations: (more…)

March 2, 2011 at 7:10 pm Leave a comment

HP Invests to Jumpstart SMB Marketshare Growth

HP Leverages Massive Infrastructure, Simplicity and Marketing Funds to Attract SMB Resellers

By Beth Vanni, Vice President

Few technology vendors (OK, less than a dozen) have a portfolio that can truly span the needs of most end-users with < 500 employees. HP is clearly one of those companies. And given its orientation to doing business through indirect channels, HP has always been a leader in consumer and small business with its printers, multi-function devices, laptops, and low-end servers. But, the global computing giant seems to have awakened in the last 2-3 years relative to the resources it applies to being the clear winner in the SMB market, a marketshare opportunity it sizes at $46 billion in the U.S. alone.

Maybe it’s because the economy has been bad, and its legacy enterprise customers have stalled spending. Maybe it’s because Cisco has gotten uniquely focused on this market, especially the <100 small business segment of SMB. Or, maybe it’s just because the company continually finds ways to reinvent itself (no pun intended) and refocus to capitalize on market inflections. In any scenario, as it prepares for its Partner Summit event later this month, HP has come out with both guns blazin’ in its focus on the SMB segment with a combination of collaborative communication, transaction automation and incentives to fire up the engines of its SMB-focused channel partners. (more…)

March 2, 2011 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

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