Posts tagged ‘SAAS’

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

Whose Job is it Anyway? Partnering Automation Imperatives for a Cloud World

Cary Tengler– Director, Client Services

It would be odd to sign up for wireless phone service and not get a detailed monthly bill, right?

And these days you get on-line bill-pay, web chat and customer service options as well. You’re also able to view your voice, data, and text rates, usage and activity in excruciating detail. All of that information, however, comes not from Apple, Google or Nokia, but from your service provider – the wireless carrier. AT&T or Verizon or Sprint is your service provider, so that’s where you expect the “service.”

But in the world of Cloud and SaaS computing solutions, where do channel partners go for support? IT VARs have historically worked with their vendors and distributors, while agents have worked with carriers, CLECs, and other voice and data providers. The increasing adoption of Cloud-based services is causing IT vendors and service providers alike to rethink the role and investment requirements of partner automation, communication, and collaboration tools. (more…)

October 17, 2011 at 7:30 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

Gone are the Days of the Generalist Partner – Even in the Cloud

Salesforce.com Gets Serious about Partner Certification

Beth Vanni – Vice President, Amazon Consulting

When you’re moving fast, sometimes you miss the obvious. The meteoric growth and rapid market support for Salesforce.com’s leading SaaS solutions are a great example.  The company’s rise within 10 years to a $2+ billion dollar organization has allowed them to cut some corners on how they’ve supported and engaged consulting partners.   But, at this year’s Dreamforce conference, we saw a renewed commitment and sense of urgency around helping partners (mostly of the consulting variety) develop one of the most basic value-based attributes — well defined technical and sales competency, in the form of certifications.

Once nearly exclusively focused on ISVs building to their “sales cloud” CRM platform, the SaaS giant now realizes their glaring gap — how to scale their sales and professional services capabilities to meet their growth targets to $5b, $10b and beyond.  They’ve always competed with on-premise software giants much larger and better resourced than they around partnering (think Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, SAP).  But as the darlings of the cloud applications market, Salesforce now realizes how seriously these competitors are retooling their platforms and partnering efforts to come after them….. and their built-on-the-cloud partners.  With a 36% year over year increase in the number of partners overall, Salesforce clearly still has the consulting and ISV partners’ attention.  However, in order to meet their existing sales and deployment projections, the SaaS leader estimates they need just under 3,000 professional services partners globally with well defined sales, service and/or platform capabilities in order to sustain their market leading position. (more…)

September 2, 2011 at 5:17 pm Leave a comment

Getting Carried Away in the Channel

Kevin Rhone – Director, Client Services

I’ve been both engrossed and aghast over the past weeks by the posturing and just plain politicking going on in Washington over the financial future of our country. In a recent article by Maureen Dowd in the NY Times, she argued that we can never go back to the past, and cited as proof a study from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in which their research showed that since “a single photon or unit of light cannot exceed the speed of light”… so Einstein was right – the concept of time travel “back to a more civilized era” is just that, a whimsical concept best reserved for science fiction or the movies.

So if our politicians need to accept that we live in a new world and make plans for the future, it got me to thinking about how that applies to the ecosystem in the Channel, and specifically about the role of Service Providers/Carriers in the era of the Cloud. (more…)

July 29, 2011 at 9:17 am 1 comment

Borders Bites the Dust – a Prediction for IT Integrators in the Wake of Cloud?

Beth Vanni – Vice President

That heavenly aroma — the fresh pulp of new book pages, combined with the aroma of a strong cup o’ Joe.  All in one setting, creating a feeling of becoming enlightened and alert all at the same time.  Thousands of product choices surround you, calling your name to try, experiment, stock up for later.   Book superstores are darn near heaven for me.

So, the demise of one of those famed bibliotech institutions, Borders Book Stores, scares me on multiple levels.  First, because I love that environment, that aroma, those high-touch experiences.   My iPad is really cool, but my friends and I agree it’s not like perusing a fresh, new book in an institute of higher learning and caffeination.  And, second, because I think the death of Borders offers chilling parallels to what’s rapidly happening to today’s traditional IT product integrators. (more…)

July 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment

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