This post is the fourth in a series we’re featuring from Amazon Consulting. Amazon Consulting is a partnering services firm dedicated to helping companies elevate the impact of partnering. The author of this post is Cary Tengler, Director, Client Services.
As Bob Dylan once famously sang, “The times, they are a’changin’.” Recent changes in technology—specifically with cloud computing—have moved technology service providers into an increasingly prominent role in the IT services delivery market.
Many vendors recognized early on the broader value of technology service providers, or TSPs, and created programs to support their role in the partner ecosystem. For instance, “Cisco Powered Network” branding and joint selling efforts have long been a part of Cisco’s service provider strategy. And it appears the rest of the IT vendor community is coming to the same conclusion.
A recent Amazon Consulting survey of 64 global IT vendors found that 70% view service providers as “very strategic” in their go-to-market plans and only 12% of the vendors viewed them as “customers and not partners.” This increased industry focus on TSPs as part of the emerging “cloud channel” makes it imperative that Cisco’s VARs take a closer look at their own cloud services and partnering strategies. Read More »
Tags: amazon consulting, cloud, Cloud Computing, partners, service providers, solution provider
This post is the third in a series we’re featuring from Beth Vanni, Vice President of Amazon Consulting. Amazon Consulting is a partnering services firm dedicated to helping companies elevate the impact of partnering. Beth has over 25 years of experience in technology sales and marketing, with a specialty focus on partnering strategies and supporting operational plans.
Vendors have long sought the attention, investment, and loyalty of channel partners for one primary reason — to expand market reach. The promise of new projects and new customers has been not the only driver in forging vendor/channel partnerships, but it has been a key one.
With the current economic climate, vendors have been forced to look at their partners’ skill sets and business model holistically, with the aim to have the right balance of technical skills, sales and prospecting skills, marketing acumen, and service delivery skills. But what combination of these competencies makes a solution provider most adept at driving new business?
In Amazon Consulting’s Annual State of Partnering Study, the last two years’ worth of results from over 100 global IT vendors indicate that increasing partners’ sales skills is a big focus for vendors. Specifically, vendors are looking to improve the overall channel’s skills in two areas — the ability to do effective pre-sales prospecting and the ability to sell business value to line-of-business decision makers.
Technical training and certification programs are now the staple of many vendors’ formal value-based channel programs – those that recognize partner contribution beyond just sales volume. They are the basis for how most partners earn recognition, rewards and further support from their leading vendors. And specialization programs focusing on multi-product solutions and industry skills have taken that idea to the next level.
But recently, many vendors with highly-evolved technical certification programs have realized that technical acumen alone does not necessarily translate to partner profitability. So what has changed?
Read More »
Tags: amazon consulting, marketing, partners, sales
This post is the second in a series we’re featuring from Beth Vanni, Vice President of Amazon Consulting. Amazon Consulting is a partnering services firm dedicated to helping companies elevate the impact of partnering. Beth has over 25 years of experience in technology sales and marketing, with a specialty focus on partnering strategies and supporting operational plans.
Reaping tangible business efficiency benefits from technology has long been the quest for end-users, and as such, has been their primary demand from their solution providers. But what kind of channel organizations are providing the greatest value around business or industry solutions today? And are they getting the right kind of support and incentives from IT vendors to be effective and remain relevant?
Amazon Consulting research has shown that end-users have a distinct hierarchy of needs of their solution providers. On the top of that list is the solution provider’s ability to deliver on time and on budget, have a comprehensive product and services offering, then proactively anticipate the customers’ unique needs. In our most recent research entitled “Influencing the Influencers,” Amazon Consulting identified the current breed of partners offering these tailored business solutions.
Here’s more on the characteristics of this breed of partners: Read More »
Tags: amazon consulting, beth vanni, customers, partners, research, services, solution provider
This post is a first in a series we’ll be featuring from Beth Vanni, Vice President of Amazon Consulting. Amazon Consulting is a partnering services firm dedicated to helping companies elevate the impact of partnering. Beth has over 25 years of experience in technology sales and marketing, with a specialty focus on partnering strategies and supporting operational plans.
A ‘perfect storm’ brewing around the issue of channel development
A variety of economic and industry innovation conditions are currently combining to create the “perfect storm” of channel development issues between IT vendors and their channel partners. These include:
- A rash of disruptive technologies entering the market
- A slowly rebounding economy within a still-uncertain global environment
- Continued industry consolidation among vendors and solution providers
These market conditions are complicating the way in which technology vendors and solution providers engage to grow their mutual success. If vendors are not prepared to meet these conditions with clearly defined partner value propositions, a clear coverage and capacity plan and comprehensive onboarding processes for their channel partners, their indirect revenues will likely suffer (and are). Conversely, if solution providers aren’t prepared to intelligently navigate the vast array of vendor’s sales, technical, marketing and services programs and support materials, they won’t realize the rate of return they desire and will waste precious resources during the process.
In recent exclusive channel research entitled conducted by Amazon Consulting entitled “From Rookie to Rock Star: The Cost and Timing of Developing Channel Partnerships,” we explored the relationship between vendors and channel partners along this issue of the costs and timing of developing a new partnership.
The highlights from this research that we think are relevant to Cisco solution providers include the following:
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Tags: amazon consulting, beth vanni, channel partners, partners, solution provider