Posts tagged ‘partner’

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

All-in with the Cloud

Diane Krakora – CEO, Amazon Consulting

Microsoft jumped on the cloud bandwagon (albeit 18 months later than most other software companies) in a big way at WPC. There were a couple of different messages at the show… Infinite Possiblities” was the main theme, and the Window’s 7 team is promoting “We Win with Partners” but the clear rally cry wase “All In” – Microsoft is all in the cloud.

See Also: Event Analysis – Microsoft WW Partner Conference

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July 21, 2010 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

Engagement Models Pose Biggest Challenge in the Services Market

Lack of clarity and alignment between vendor and solution provider pose roadblocks

Beth Vanni – Director, Market Intelligence

Because “services” is such a broad category, successful solution providers most effective in delivering professional, managed and support services have distinct and separate business models. At the same time, a good segmentation model with clearly defined partner profiles and performance metrics is critical for vendors. But, in our recent research focused on vendor/partner engagement models around services, we discovered a lack of clarity by the solution providers about the very core of their execution around services – namely, vendor field engagement models. We think this is still contributing to relatively widespread conflict and confusion in vendor channel relationships.

Field engagement has always been the critical “last mile” of harmonious vendor/channel engagement around services. As the saying goes, “all politics are local.” However, our research results are alarming about how ineffectively this field engagement is currently working. Over half (57%) of vendors indicated that they don’t think their own channel partners understand their own rules of engagement, and another other 50% say their partners have reported a poor experience in engaging with their direct services teams in the past. From the partner side, (leave as-is) of the respondents themselves indicate they are unclear on the vendor’s rules of engagement and have experienced channel conflict (39%) around services delivery

Despite the fact that vendor’s sales policies don’t always make solution providers happy, this type of widespread lack of clarity is very counterproductive to channel growth and delays solution providers’ investments in vendor’s channel services programs. Solution providers need the clarity and consistency of vendor field execution, even more so than many other more specialized channel incentive and support programs.  Predictable behavior around roles, rates and customer teaming processes is the glue that allows solution providers to build a meaningful and financially viable services practice. It can also be the factor which either instills confidence or deteriorates trust and satisfaction in end-user relationships.

The most common process deployed in the field to manage direct/indirect channel relationships is deferring services to the incumbent partner in an account, which got a 39% response rate from partners and a 43% response from vendors. Of course, solution providers prefer this method and expect vendors to leverage their insights and existing customer relationships when trying to further penetrate an account. Also, more than one-third of both vendors and solution providers felt they clearly segment which customers would receive vendor direct vs. partner-led services (41% and 38% response, respectively).

These “hard decks” are becoming increasingly common. However, as it relates to services delivery they seem to be less absolute and harder for vendors to consistently execute due to the need to keep services teams at maximum utilization and drive higher-margin services revenue during softer financial periods.

Lastly, the solution providers indicate they are using a co-sell and co-delivery model in key accounts based on vendor/partner complementary skills less frequently (39%) than the vendors felt that model was being used (57%). This co-selling model can be a very effective one for mentoring and helping solution providers apply technical skills, but is an expensive one for many vendors and doesn’t scale very well. Solution providers usually welcome the support, but are eager to get the vendor disconnected from the account so they can continue to promote overall multi-vendor solution and ultimate find their own unique and differentiated services delivery models.

For the full study, visit the Amazon Consulting Resource Center.

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July 9, 2010 at 11:34 pm Leave a comment

OPN Specialized: The First Step to a Value-Based Channel Program?

Beth Vanni – Director, Market Intelligence

Oracle has a lot to talk about these days – six new acquisitions completed or pending since the beginning of 2010, details about the Sun integration rolling-out, and their FY10 financial results which include a 20% increase in partner transactions year-over-year. The Redwood Shores giant is, no doubt, a global industry leader with a massive portfolio and influence to match.

But the news yesterday on the kick-off of their new OPN Specialized program was a tad less groundbreaking. Of course, Judson Althoff’s Worldwide Partner organization produced a very thorough, professional web event, with endorsements about the value of the channel to Oracle’s success and how critical partners’ investment in certifications is. Everyone chimed in — all four major executives, training people, product people, and partners themselves. The main message was that because of the breadth of the Oracle portfolio (10,000 products), it’s more critical than ever for partners to become specialized in their product or services expertise. Charles Phillip’s quote was “we don’t need a bunch of generalists.” (it’s on eChannelLine today) (more…)

July 1, 2010 at 4:22 pm Leave a comment

Cisco Small Business Partner Program Announcements

By Diane Krakora, CEO

Also See: Channel Insider

December 1, 2009 at 7:29 pm Leave a comment

OPN Specialized at Oracle OpenWorld 2009

Beth Vanni shares her thoughts on OPN Specialized with Lydia Smyers immediately after the launch of the program at Oracle OpenWorld 2009.

October 17, 2009 at 1:48 am Leave a comment

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