Posts tagged ‘Sandra Glaser Cheek’

VMworld 2010 Eve – Day 0

Sandra Glaser Cheek – Director, Client Services

Last week I sent my three kids back-to-school after an 82-day long weekend. Phew. Multiple trips to Target and Staples for school supplies usually mark the end of summer for me. But now, in hindsight, working closely with VMware for the past couple of years, it seems the amount of work, and the furious pace in which VMware employees are working, VMworld also marks the end of summer and the beginning of the fall tradeshow season.

Fall is the season when we start to hear of acquisitions and bold moves in the tech vendor community, and new visions and ideas that get us excited. Now that the kids are back in school, and VMworld is ready to open, we are ready to pay attention. Here are some thought I’ve gathered from the blogosphere industry about what are likely to hear at VMworld 2010 this week: (more…)

August 31, 2010 at 12:52 am Leave a comment

How Social Are Your Partners?

sandra-finalBy Sandra Glaser Cheek – Director, Client Services

Every time I begin to blog about social media, I pause and think of how my inbox is assaulted on daily basis with invitations to attend/participate in social media events, webinars, etc. Everyone is talking about social media in the channel, but up to this point, we really haven’t seen our clients doing much about it – and especially not “with” their partners.

No doubt, social media is important in today’s marketing mix. But how much it is embraced by Channel Marketing organizations seems to be directly related to how a company embraces social media in general. And, it’s practically unheard of for vendors to include social media as reimbursable activities in their MDF or incentive funding programs.

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November 6, 2009 at 11:41 pm Leave a comment

VMworld 2009: Ahead in the Cloud

Sandra Glaser Cheek

Sandra Glaser Cheek

I spent several days at VMworld 2009 last week where I was one of 12,000+ attendees (roughly, about ¼ of the attendees were partners) gathered to immerse ourselves in all things virtualization. There were a few new product announcements – all ripe with the notion of clouds and an overarching computing paradigm, but there were really no big surprises. A few highlights that stood out for me: (more…)

September 14, 2009 at 8:19 pm Leave a comment

Fitting Social Media into Channel Communications Frameworks

Sandra Glaser Cheek

Sandra Glaser Cheek

By Sandra Glaser Cheek, Director, Consulting & Client services

Social media is forcing businesses to be better. With customers and competitors having more access to what companies are doing and saying in real time, it raises the ante for more transparency, better services and better products.

The next generation of partner marketing strategies will be more responsive, collaborative, and focused on the needs of the partner and customer, not just on the fastest way to close business. Time to market with these social technologies and tools will determine who the winners in vendor community will be. The keys to success will be flexibility, executive support, and the willingness to make mistakes along the way.

As we develop Communications Frameworks for our clients, it’s interesting to see where social media and web 2.0 technologies fit within an organization.

Most major vendors do have some sort of social media plan/strategy and most have begun using some next generation communications tools. This is interesting, because it is unclear that anyone really knows how to formulate and articulate a clear social networking strategy or social media plan for channel partner integration — or provide clear metrics for measurement.

Despite this, it’s clear that it’s time for channel marketers to embrace and prioritize social media technology, as it will be an integral part of the next generation channel program. The impact that sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. have had on the way that users interact and use the Internet for communication, purchasing, and collaboration is clear. Some of this technology, like blogs, podcasts, and RSS are being utilized by vendors — but this is just scratching the surface. To meet the changing customer needs for immediacy, personalization, and participation (sometimes simultaneously), channel programs and the supporting marketing will need to be built with Web 2.0 leading the charge and encompassing social networking, virtual communities, video on demand, wikis, podcasts, and web based collaboration.
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August 4, 2009 at 4:36 pm 2 comments

Channel Roundtable for SaaS “Pure Plays”

Sandra Glaser Cheek

Sandra Glaser Cheek

We recently held a “SaaS in the Channel” roundtable event with about 10 pure-play SaaS vendors to discuss the challenges and opportunities that they face in developing robust partner programs and ecosystems. After discussing the particular challenges that each vendor faced it became apparent that that SaaS partnering is truly a blend of the old and new. Many of the most basic partner principles are challenging to this crowd – how to train partners effectively, how to craft the best business proposition, tracking evolving partner business models, managing multi-channel strategies, etc. And some of the issues are new – how to continue to educate the market on SaaS as a business and licensing model, how to handle support and when and where to get the partner involved, etc.

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June 3, 2009 at 8:22 pm 1 comment

Voice of the Partner – What lessons can we learn from Starbucks?

Sandra Glaser Cheek

Sandra Glaser Cheek

Starbucks is celebrating its MyStarbucksIdea.com’s first birthday. On this site, Starbucks asked “What would make your Starbucks experience perfect? We know you’ve got ideas – big ideas, little ideas, maybe even totally revolutionary ideas – and we want to hear them all.”starbucks-2

Starbuck’s has a dedicated team of “Idea Partners” – Starbucks employees who are experts in their respective fields. They bubble up the most popular and innovative ideas that are the best fit for Starbucks and present them to key decision makers within the company to recommend how they can execute on the new ideas. The top ideas are posted to the “Popular Ideas” section of the website and Starbucks customers can help decide which ideas are best by voting.
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April 10, 2009 at 9:30 am Leave a comment

Is Your Channel Partner Dashboard Flashing “Maintenance Required”?

Sandra Glaser Cheek

Sandra Glaser Cheek

I recently took my 2006 Honda Odyssey into the mechanic because as I was driving to work the dashboard light indicators were lighting up like a Christmas tree. It began with a bright red brake indicator, next came the oil light, then “maintenance required”, and finally some random light I still don’t know the meaning of. So, I started thinking – can I even make it to the mechanic, should I call a tow truck, will I miss my meeting? Not to mention that this will undoubtedly mean, ka-ching – an unanticipated expense!

This experience got me thinking about our business. What if I just ignored my dashboard? I mean, yes the indicators were on but the car was actually running and sounding fine. In the old days when I drove my 1980 hand-me-down Chevy Citation, there weren’t any sensors on the dashboard. I just drove the car until, well, it broke down – and trust me I got more than my fair share of that back in “the old days.” However, today’s cars are fine-tuned, high-tech machines with lots of thing-a-ma-jigs that make sure I can brake to a stop faster, I won’t get as hurt in an accident, I get better mileage, etc. So yes, I could probably still drive “old school” like I did in my younger days and ignore the flashing dashboard. But at what cost?

(more…)

March 4, 2009 at 5:00 am 1 comment


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