Posts filed under ‘Industry Perspective’

Amazon Consulting’s Approach to a Unified Global Partner Program

by Diane Krakora – CEO

In our previous blog post, we introduced Quest Software and its business partner needs. Unifying the channel program for Quest and its partner community became a vital corporate priority. Quest engaged Amazon Consulting to help build collaboration with industry partners, increase opportunities for partners to grow sales and profitability and deliver greater customer satisfaction. (more…)

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December 27, 2011 at 7:25 pm Leave a comment

SAP’s Cloud Strategy and Partner Ecosystem:

Can the Software Giant become Accessible, Flexible and Mobile?

by Beth Vanni – Vice President

At the recent SAP Influencer Summit, the software giant came out swinging around their ability to extend their market dominance in applications to the cloud arena. But can their approach to partnering be part of that new religion and give them the flexibility, innovation and scale they defend and grow their marketshare against Salesforce.com, Microsoft, Oracle and others?

(more…)

December 22, 2011 at 5:03 pm Leave a comment

Our Approach to a Unified Global Partner Program

by Diane Krakora – CEO

We have been discussing partner specializations over the past few weeks, so I’d like to share a story of partner program and defined specialization success. Imagine a corporation that, after a period of growth by acquisition and a focus on indirect sales, could attribute about 40% of worldwide annual revenue to channel partners. However, such growth led to disparate partner programs functioning independently and undefined specialization requirements. Such was the case for Quest Software when we first met them. (more…)

December 19, 2011 at 7:21 pm Leave a comment

Where Solution Providers Can Turn for Financing

by Tim Lowe – Director, Consulting

Channel financing issues can be at the core of a solution provider’s mobility or the reason why you keep hitting roadblocks. For solution providers in today’s economic environment, credit is no longer readily available. Several credit facilities that were options five years ago no longer exist today. Finding sources of short-term financing for large deals in particular is more challenging and more time-consuming than it was in the past.

But credit for solution providers is just as important in an up economy as in a down economy. My experience has been that if you don’t plan for success and line up avenues of credit before you need them, then you will limit your ability to prosper in any economy. If you plan on growing, it’s better to solve these issues before you need the credit.

So where can solution providers turn for financing? The fact is that vendors and distributors are places where solution providers can seek financing for their own businesses.

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December 7, 2011 at 6:11 pm Leave a comment

Life at Apple after Steve Jobs

Will channels ever hold its own for investment and innovation?

Beth Vanni – Vice President

Apple stands at a crossroads. They are the only major IT vendor that has it all – the cool computing devices, the operating system, and the server and storage technology to run the backoffice. Their thriving community of ISVs and developers is a huge asset…but what most people don’t know is that Apple has a strong, focused channel of indirect partners that help it get to market effectively. In the post-Jobs Apple, the question is whether they’ll finally start to really leverage it to keep their place at the top. (more…)

November 22, 2011 at 9:36 pm Leave a comment

The New “VAR”

By Diane Krakora, CEO

You are probably thinking “Diane, the ‘VAR’ label, is so passé – get with the times, girl.” And you’re right. We transitioned off the ‘VAR’ label to ‘Solution Provider’ years ago, as reselling took a back seat to providing the customer with a full solution to their business needs. If you’ve been paying attention to our briefs and blogs over the last couple of years, you’ve seen us postulate completely moving off labels as ‘nouns’ to the use of ‘verbs’ for the indirect channels. What do the partners do – resell, refer, influence, bundle, service?  Instead of Reseller – they resell. Instead of MSP –they provide managed services. Instead of Consultant – they refer business.  So why am I now promoting a new “VAR?”

In the world of the cloud, the value of the indirect channel to the customer is in their relationship – the services they provide outside of the purchase of the “product” (which is likely also purchased as a ‘service’).  The product evaluation and selection is still an important role for the partner – however their new services are cloud integration, orchestration and management. Thus it is the relationship with the customer that matters in the cloud world. The partners’ future role will be consulting, advice, suggestions, business process recommendations, transition planning and immediate response when something goes amiss (and it does!).

The vendor side of this equation also values the relationship the partner has with their customer. In a SaaS or cloud model, the vendor isn’t looking for partners to install and configure a solution. They need partners that can sell the solution, drive customer satisfaction and ensure the renewal.  Thus we see the “traditional” VARs – focused on adding value to the reselling motions with design, installation and configuration services – transitioning to a new “VAR” – one focused on the value they foster in their relationships.

November 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm Leave a comment

For Niche Distributors, the Future is Cloudy

By Kevin Fox, Consultant

Many vendors are unclear what role, if any, distributors may play in their cloud strategy. As for niche technology distributors, the future is even more unclear. 

Behemoths the likes of Avnet, Ingram and Tech Data are scrambling to claim a piece of the pie. Who can blame them? IT spending is projected to grow at 4% annually through 2013, while “Cloud” spend is projected to grow at 26% annually (source: IDC). That is, 25% of overall IT growth will come from Cloud/SaaS offerings in the next few years.  (more…)

November 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm 2 comments

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