To date the large majority of effort on the part of vendors in helping their partners “cross the chasm” to the Cloud, is in delivering enablement materials and tools to help partners make business model and operational changes and to build Cloud practices.
These efforts are laudatory, but they ignore a simple opportunity. Right now there are many small and emerging firms that have been very successful in building out a focus on Cloud, what they lack is the market to grow their business. At the same time, there are many larger firms, with significant client bases, that represent an opportunity to sell in new Cloud offerings and/or their clients are demanding evaluation and deployment of such offerings.
At Digital Bridge Partners we have played many times in the partner matching realm. From designing profiling and discovery tools, to building very large partner matching and joint planning programs. These have succeeded and failed for a range of reasons, whether based on the depth of need or the effectiveness of the program structure.
We believe there is a renewed opportunity for vendors to deliver such tools to their partner bases, in this case focused on helping partners fill capability gaps related to the Cloud. We feel that a key ingredient in making these tools successful however, will be a benchmarking front end, to help the partners understand more effectively exactly what types of capabilities they should look for in partners, and to help them identify the right players.
Finally, these matching tools can largely be socially based and don’t have to only be driven by large partner listing databases. The combination of the benchmark, the profiling capability, the social tools to foster interaction, and some degree of hand holding will go a long way to ensure success of the program.
Such a matching approach, will create a second and strong mechanism beyond direct vendor to partner practice building enablement to help drive the channel in “crossing the chasm” to the Cloud.