In earlier posts we’ve focused a great deal on the new model of channel partner required for vendors to successfully deliver cloud solutions to end customers. We’ve highlighted a number of shifts currently taking place in the channel, including the increased importance of cloud channel partners (VARs, Consultants and Integrators), the types of services these partners will need to deliver, and their new business models. But what we haven’t addressed is how these changes are going to take place and how large vendors can support them.
It is our strong belief at Digital Bridge Partners that vendors who want to win with the channel should provide concrete enablement and support aligned to the needs of new and existing partners who are moving to the Cloud. Vendors that don’t drive the change will find themselves gradually losing both channel partner share of wallet and overall market share. Unfortunately however, most vendors are letting this market shift happen without leading the evolution. We all know, that changing a business model isn’t easy.
Vendors need to proactively:
Help channel partners understand the emerging business models and develop associated practices, offerings and marketing tools
Create programs that drive partners to build delivery relationships and do joint planning with them
Architect the associated delivery ecosystems and/or establish marketplaces
Create enablement across key roles – Sales, marketing, and technology
Some vendors are beginning to drive these changes (Microsoft, Cisco, VMware) and deliver related enablement tools. But right now, vendor efforts to support channel evolution aren’t consistent across the market, and in many cases the tools developed fall short of channel needs and aren’t integrated into a consistent partner roadmap, to help the partner understand how they fit into the vendors overall enablement architecture and more importantly, fit into a roadmap for that Partners development and growth.
To really help drive this market across the Chasm, a comprehensive cross vendor initiative is required, based on a consistent approach to and view of channel needs.
We believe in particular, a core value to partners will be benchmarking tools that help them understand how to manage and grow their businesses. There’s a real opportunity for a group of vendors to align around creating and delivering such benchmarks.