Posts filed under ‘Live from Events’

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?

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

The Cloud Era of Channel Success: Is Your Organization Partner-Ready?

by Diane Krakora – CEO

At the recent Channel Cloud Summit event, Diane Ruth, Executive Director of Business Development at Boomi (the Saas integration leader that was recently purchased by Dell), discussed their strategy for success with partners.

Ruth’s first point was vendors can increase their flexibility by aligning their go-to-market models with the partners’ business models: referral, resell, service bureau (only the partner has access to the platform, performing the full function of the solution for their customer) and OEM. Additionally, that the vendor should define the roles and responsibilities across these business models – clearly describing the interaction point between sales and pre-support, level 1 & 2 support, level 3 support and contract/billing/invoicing policies. (more…)

December 12, 2011 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment

5 Steps to Building a Successful Channel Program in the Cloud

by Diane Krakora – CEO

Ron Huddleston, SVP ISV Alliances at Salesforce.com spoke at the Cloud Channel Summit event a couple weeks ago. He stressed the channel is not shifting to a cloud platform as fast as the market and that channels are missing out on massive opportunities.

Huddleston outlined his five steps vendors should take to channel cloud success:
1. Build an organization born for the cloud

He stressed the creation of a new channel organization designed for the cloud, instead of trying to enhance existing channel programs designed for traditional software.

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December 5, 2011 at 7:11 pm 1 comment

It’s About Building Trusted Relationships

by Diane Krakora – CEO

At the recent Cloud Channel Summit event, Marc Sternberg, CEO Rising Tide Media, was bullish on the opportunities to partner with cloud services.  He commented that with cloud computing gaining broad based market acceptance and cloud solutions delivering tangible business benefits, cloud vendors need partners help.  Sternberg stressed success in the cloud is about building trusted relationships – between vendors, channels and customers. (more…)

November 28, 2011 at 7:03 pm Leave a comment

Back to the Future

Cisco’s Partner-Led SMB Model Promises New Customer and Partner Value

Beth Vanni – Vice President, Amazon Consulting

Whenever Cisco talks about new investments in partnering programs or support, it’s always a déjà vu experience for me. They invest so much already and have so many sales and marketing tools for partners, it’s a bit of a brain teaser to remember what’s new. But, there are a few gems of support announced in their enhanced SMB Partner-Led sales strategy that remind me of the infamous “flux capacitor” scene from the movie Back to the Future.

Andrew Sage, the company’s newly promoted VP of Worldwide Partner-Led Sales, brings a great legacy to his new position. He’s been studying how to make Cisco successful with small (really, truly small <100 user) companies for several years. That’s made him a bit akin to Back to the Future’s Doc Brown within Cisco. He’s pioneered new coverage models (Road Warrior), new product sets (Small Business Communication System) and a new way to look at the value of the channel in owning SMB customer relationships within his legacy enterprise-selling organization. Having at one time been a part of the SMB market development team at Cisco, I know personally that’s a tough job.

But, there are two things Cisco announced that could be that secret sauce, their flux capacitor (the device that made time travel in a Delorean possible) in this Partner-Led model.  The first is their plans to build a global partner-led marketing engine. Now, they’ve built some great marketing assets and gotten very grass-roots in the past with their larger VARs and Service Providers on marketing campaigns and automation (for example the Velocity conference). If they can bring that level of lead qualification and passing and field marketing assistance to the more regional partners catering to SMB, that will be a big deal.  

The second thing we think is a Cisco game-changer in SMB is their newly announced Technology Solutions Network. This is a team of inside sales engineers uniquely focused on SMB product sets and the SMB-focused partner. The ability for this team to be highly accessible (albeit on the phone) to help partners’ sales engineers with quotes, architectures and customer presentations could be huge. Many other vendors have tried this, most often in the field. Cisco will start with 300 partners who will have access to this team – that focused approach will be good. But, Cisco’s ability to help prepare partner for the all important prospecting proof-of-concept and pre-sales work will be the lynch-pin of them realizing the returns they want in this partner-led approach.

So, what’s new about SMB partnering at Cisco? The unique focus on enabling partners to do most of the pre-sales and prospecting work, in line with their larger peers. A fire-in-the-belly SMB-centric leader with a strong track record of success. An enhanced set of investments in people, automation and new economic incentives for partners to win deals with/for Cisco in SMB. And, a Wall Street community who’s watching this market-leader and their big-bet investments very closely these days.   

Doc Brown says to Marty McFly when prompted to back up the Delorean in order to accelerate to 88 mph before jumping to time travel, “Roads? We don’t need roads where we’re going!” Cisco’s got an unbelievable set of assets, partnering DNA and passion to take their SMB success to the next level. Their partners’ belief and trust that Cisco can cut through its own complexity and focus outside their enterprise investments to make this a reality is perhaps the networking giant’s real flux capacitor.

September 23, 2011 at 8:21 pm Leave a comment

ISVs Still the Strategic Channel Segment at Salesforce.com

Strong Growth and Enhanced Toolset for SaaS Developers Announced

Beth Vanni  –  Vice President, Amazon Consulting  

When Denzil Samuels, Salesforce.com’s new Channel Chief, asked how many people in the partner keynote session of last week’s Dreamforce event were developing applications using the company’s Force.com platform, about 75% of the audience’s hands shot up.   This response reflects the very development-centric make-up of the SaaS leader’s current channel ecosystem.  And, with stats like 97% growth of software OEM partners, 90% increase in ISV revenues and 210% increase in the number of ISV orders, it’s hard to argue this ongoing developer focus. (more…)

September 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm Leave a comment

$50 Million Man

by Diane Krakora, CEO

If you had $50 million to invest, what would you do with it? Buy a company? Spend it on product research? Create your dream campus and throw a party for the employees? I’d bolster my partner ecosystem – and surprisingly, so would Salesforce.com. They are investing $50 million to help consulting partners grow. (more…)

September 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm Leave a comment

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