Clearly, revenue growth remains top-of-mind on most vendor priority lists for 2013 and that will naturally affect how they tweak upcoming spending ratios. But for the long-term health of vendor-partner relations, vendors need to account for a perception gap we uncovered in our survey results this year. Continue reading →
Mia Blank – Client Services Director
A lot going on the high tech world these days. Not only are distributors, resellers, VARs and other partner types trying to figure out their role in this ‘cluster model’ route to market (i.e. the Cloud), but the vendors are also trying to figure out what their partner’s roles are and what partners are going to be key for them to continue to drive business.
Back in the day, the route-to-market model was clear and very linear: Vendor to distributor to reseller/integrator to customer. In today’s cloudy world, the route isn’t quite so straight. We see distributors blurring the lines by offering aggregation and their own implementation services. Resellers are partnering with other resellers to provide more comprehensive solutions to the customer. It’s a cluster world now and companies need to figure out their role or they are going to be left in the dust. Continue reading →
Diane Krakora – CEO
I’m just back from the IBM PartnerWorld Business Leadership Conference where about 2,000 partner executives and about 200 IBM Vice Presidents descended into Las Vegas for their annual meeting. Amidst the product announcements, cloud conversation and commitments to more and better leads to partners there was one curious trend I noticed: The IBM corporation sure likes to change their partnering executives a lot. Rich Hume was IBM’s channel chief for 2 years and handed the reigns over to Mark Henessey at last year’s conference. This seemed curious to me as I’m used to seeing channel executives stick around for about 5 years – so I made it my mission to find out what the partners thought. Continue reading →
by David O’Brien, Client Services Director
I’ve been working with strategic alliances for many years and one thing is a given…they are hard.
All top notch ISV and channel programs typically have very defined frameworks with benefits, requirements, expectations, etc. Strategic partnerships rarely do, which repeatedly leads to unset, unclear and continually changing circumstances. There is also considerable pressure as these relationships are deemed “strategic” and thus have the eyes of every exec looking for their individualized TPS reports.
So, how do strategic alliance professionals and leaders bring some common scoring, beyond just revenue reporting, to this critical part of the business? Have you considered additional and alternative performance incentives and measurements? Continue reading →
According to Business AND Regulatory Needs
On a positive note, vendors and partners seem to have worked out the wrinkles in the policies that caused us to leave co-marketing dollars on the table in years past. Survey results showed that vendors and partners have worked to drastically reduce the amount of marketing funds left unassigned or unused. In fact, the percentage of vendors who have left a quarter or more of their available funds unused was half of what it was last year. Continue reading →
Path #1: Optimize Channel Spend
After sparking a major increase in partner enablement spending last year, channel executives will stay the course in 2013 with primarily the same funding levels as last year. But following 2012′s increases the expectations for performance remain high. So while overall budgets stay the same, survey responses showed us that vendors still expect to make tweaks to the ratio of how those dollars are spent. Continue reading →
How does your partner program stack up with industry best practices? For the 7th consecutive year, PartnerPath surveyed both vendor and solution provider executives to get their views on everything from MDF spending trends and how partner account managers work to attitudes about cloud models and the ROI of distribution. Continue reading →
Chris Smith – Director, Technology
A few years ago, I met a stranger in a coffee shop. He was sipping a latte and interacting with a hand-held device using a stylus. It was a PDA by Palm; I had one too. Truth is, I didn’t use mine for anything more than a toy. Sure, I kept a calendar on it and I played Tetris once in a while but that was about it. I really didn’t pay much attention to that little device that I paid a few hundred dollars for just to keep a calendar. You see, Palm failed to be disruptive. It is amazing to me to think how easily Palm could have ruled the world, but it was not to be for Palm. They lacked vision, and were perhaps too comfortable with past success to be driven enough to innovate the next big thing. Continue reading →
It’s almost overwhelming at the holiday season with the amount of product information that is pushed out to us. Every time I turn on my laptop or iPhone I’m inundated with blogs, tweets, Facebook or LinkedIn updates. I can Google anything and be swarmed with relevant ads. The retailers have figured it out…..why hasn’t high tech?
Tim Lowe – Director, Consulting
What is the most difficult, important, and critical step in the entire IT procurement process? Designing great products? Creative marketing? Establishing an effective partner program? Advertising? Staffing with talented people? Accurate and timely and cost effective distribution? Nah, all of these are important. But they are not the most difficult, important, and critical step in the entire IT procurement process.
The most difficult, important, and critical step in the entire IT procurement process is getting a customer to issue a Purchase Order! The second most difficult step is getting the customer to actually pay for the products and services but accounts receivables is a different story. How many of your partner facing employees have actually seen this critical step?
I have a proposal that would revolutionize our industry and make the most dramatic impact on channel partnering ever.
Each year, every vendor that considers partners to be critical to their success (are there any vendors with a partner program that DOESN’T consider partners to be critical to their success) should allow, no encourage, no REQUIRE, every partner-facing employee to spend one week of vendor paid time to work at no cost for one of the partners in their partner program. And to make sure that one partner doesn’t consume all of these benefits, every partner could not accept more than one week of the pro bono service per month. Continue reading →