Posts tagged ‘Services’

Mid-Year Check: Channel Development Goals for 2010

Beth Vanni – Director, Market Intelligence

Where has the time gone? It’s the end of July already and with many company’s fiscal year’s more than half-way over, it’s a great time to sanity check progress toward your channel development goals for the year.  We reflect here on what many of you have told us were your priorities and key initiatives for 2010 in our Annual State of Partnering Study.



August 4, 2010 at 5:03 pm Leave a comment

Sharing IP is Only Part of Services Success

Partner willingness to adopt vendor’s methodologies and IP is not a “one size fits all” strategy

Beth Vanni – Director, Market Intelligence

In our recent research focused on the hot topic of engaging the next generation of services-centric partners, we found some interesting results in the area of partner enablement, which forced some reading between the lines.

Vendors say that sharing their service delivery methodologies and IP is their fourth biggest challenge (36%) when it comes to channel engagement. The partners we surveyed didn’t list it as a challenge (getting vendors’ IP) at all. (more…)

July 20, 2010 at 9:43 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

The Untold Story: Solution Provider’s Cloud Computing Concerns

Beth Vanni – Director, Market Intelligence

Half of the top channel enablement priorities for vendors in 2010 relate to improving their solution providers’ services capabilities. However, in our recent study conducted with Integrated entitled “Engaging the Services Partner” solution providers expressed concerns about the real services opportunity and margins represented by the cloud. In fact, many solution providers are still thinking about resale only of cloud offerings.

Infrastructure providers like Rackspace and enterprise software vendors like VMware, Oracle and Microsoft are aggressively pushing solution providers to dip their toe in cloud services by simply reselling their offerings or those of their larger service providers.

However, most solution providers are smart enough to see that there’s not a sustainable business model to be had in acting as only a sales agent for someone else’s managed or cloud service. And, the #1 cloud computing concern for 2010 expressed by our solution provider respondents is around inadequate margins for reselling cloud services or applications. (more…)

July 6, 2010 at 4:14 pm Leave a comment

Services Growth Strategies – partner and services types

Beth Vanni – Director, Market Intelligence

In our Q2 Study focused on, “Engaging the Services Partner,” we discovered a high correlation between those partner types that are most mature and those that are expected to grow the most in 2010.

In this research, we first assessed which partner segments vendors are actively engaging with and which they feel have been most successful with to date. Although global SI’s were deemed to be the most mature partner segment for most vendors, they were ranked as the second most successful historically. Conversely, regional SI’s were ranked as the second most mature partner segment but were ranked as the partner segment with the most historic success. (To get the actual percentages, download the study here.) Both groups have been core to offering industry-specific professional and managed services, and many vendors have had long-standing channel programs acknowledging the value of sales influencers and services-delivery partners. (more…)

June 18, 2010 at 12:33 am Leave a comment

The Five Business Models of Cloud Providers

From affiliates to developers, there’s a place for many partner types in cloud computing

Beth Vanni – Director, Market Intelligence

In the channel ecosystem of Cloud Computing, we see five distinct partnering roles emerging that are critical to the effective deployment of public or private cloud technologies. Interestingly enough, these roles all exist in non-cloud technology deployment, and have more in common with the models used today to support premise-based, client/server solutions than differences. This supports our assertion that basic partner reach, pre-sales skills and post-sale integration will be as (if not more) important than ever as the industry moves to services-based technology models. (more…)

May 18, 2010 at 7:39 pm 3 comments

First Things First – Cloud Vendor as Friend or Foe?

By Beth Vanni

Emerging channel engagement models in cloud services delivery

There I sat at the recent Baptie Channel Focus conference listening to channel executives from Microsoft and NetApp talk about their vision for c loud services.  Now, I’ve sat at this conference for some eight years running, and in that moment I had a vivid flashback to the movie “Ground hog Day.”

In the movie, the lead character is trapped in a time warp where he wakes up every morning to the same set of limiting circumstances, and he gets to do a “do-over” of how he handles the day’s events and relationships.  Great movie if you’ve never seen it.   The déjà vu moment for me was about the basic relationship between IT vendors and their channel partners. Despite how far IT technology has come in the last decade and how much of a revolution cloud computi ng promises to offer us all, it seems like basic vendor/partner relationship dynamics are caught in a time warp.


May 5, 2010 at 11:15 pm Leave a comment

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