Whitepapers & Articles
Building an Enterprise Partner Ecosystem
To many organizations, alliances and strategic partnerships are “the new way businesses grow and innovate,” particularly as they experience a rising profile within the C-suite. As partnership alliances become an increasingly important source of innovation for companies, they are integral to future success. Key to building a strong ecosystem of partners is understanding the different roles they play across the value chain and at different inflection points in product and market maturity. It is also key to understand customers buying preferences and how different partners may influence their decisions. Download
Measuring Ecosystem Health
Managing for Sustainability and Productivity in the Channel
Health of the partner ecosystem is more than a rollup of individual partner scorecards, although, there is definitely a relationship between how your program enables individual partners and the cumulative outcome. Ecosystem health is dependent upon many factors that can be captured in a balanced scorecard model. Metrics should inform you how to make meaningful changes to your ecosystem to optimize the health, sustainability, and profitability of your partners. Download
Build, Buy, Partner: So Many Choices
Product marketing, management and development departments have pressure from all sides to add competitive differentiation to product, fill in product line gaps and offer a complete solution to customers. Product groups have three strategies they can choose from to solve these issues: Build products or components from scratch, buy components, product, product lines or companies, or partner with companies to meet these product development needs. Authors: Deborah Henken and Norma Watenpaugh Updated: 2016 Download
Making Partner Managers Winners - What They Need to Succeed
To many organizations, alliances and strategic partnerships are “the new way businesses grow and innovate,” particularly as they experience a rising profile within the C-suite. As partnership alliances become an increasingly important source of innovation for companies, they are integral to future success. Building the skills of an effective Partner Manager has far reaching impact. The role of partner manager is to enable innovation, growth and competitive advantage through partnerships and they need a full toolbox for the job. Download
Run Alliances Like a Business - Not Like Appendages
The most successful alliances manage their operation like businesses, applying the best practices of running a business and integrating alliance operations into the core of their business. A business case is essential in understanding what factors contribute to alliance success. Partner to Profit and Phoenix Consulting Grouphave collaborated in conducting research to understand current practices in the development of alliance businesses cases and how those business cases are used to inform decision makers in setting performance objectives and resource investments. Download
Cloud Partner Ecosystems for Growth
Our client is the leading provider of internet payment solutions with over 100 million users, supporting 25 currencies in 190 countries. Its roots are in ecommerce, but today non-retail payments are the fastest growing part of its business. Our client has, in part, accomplished this diversification in its business through building a strategic cloud partner ecosystem Download
Disrupting the Channel - or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Cloud
Disruptive shifts in the high technology industry are not new; neither are they trivial. The current convergence of technologies of social, mobile, analytics, and cloud (SMAC), is more than a disruption of technology. Many seasoned channel managers have remarked that while disruptive technologies come and go, they’ve never seen anything quite like this. This disruption goes to the heart of the business model of many
technology companies, and those companies and channel managers who don’t adapt are doomed. To succeed, today’s channel executives must become savvy business managers—transitioning to new revenue models, finding new partners, and working collaboratively to understand and serve entirely new groups of customers outside of the IT department. Download
On October 14, 2014, Leverage2Market Associates and Phoenix Consulting Group hosted a partner executive breakfast to explore how partners change the growth equation in a cloud-based world. The event was attended by a dozen senior partner leaders from a diverse cross section of Silicon Valley companies and featured guest speakers Jim Chow, Head of Enterprise Cloud Ecosystem Partners from Google, and Chris Hansen, Senior Director Strategic Alliances from Marketo. The discussion was lively and insightful, and dealt with the most relevant issues of cloud transformation and the role of partner management across the partner ecosystem of ISV’s, channels, and system integrators in helping partners and customers make the leap to the cloud. Here’s a summary of the discussion, as well as our thoughts for how this may impact your business moving forward. Download
Creating New Markets - Creating New Business Value
High-performing alliances are opening up new markets of opportuntiy by creating business value for customers through innovation. Creating new markets requires a more strategic approach than just managing a revenue pipeline. It makes sense in any business that if you not fueling an innovation pipeline, eventually your revenue pipeline runs out of gas. Indeed, high-performing alliances more frequently cite innovation as one of the corproate values created by their alliance. Download
The Secret Sauce to Collaboration Success
Partnering and building alliances is the preferred model of business growth for many CEO’s. In the IBM 2012 CEO Study, 70% of CEOs plan to partner extensively and indeed the top performers among those CEO’s do just that. Partnering leverages the expertise, resources, and talent beyond the walls of a single organization. But what are the crucial ingredients for collaboration success? Download
Which Metrics Matter
When you ask an alliance manager which metrics matter, more often than not you will hear some version of “revenue, revenue, and revenue.” Yet many businesses have moved to a more holistic view of measuring value. The balanced scorecard has been widely adopted as a method of looking at not only financials, but strategic, tactical, and operational performance, as well as intangibles that contribute to the capacity to generate value. A single metric cannot give you the insight necessary to manage all the ingredients required to sustain a successful alliance. Companies that manage successful alliances tend to measure performance in multiple dimensions and high performing alliances tend to track certain metrics that non-performers do not.
The ultimate goal of a diagnostic is to improve alliance relationships and performance by acting on objective feedback. Responses to the survey can open an actionable discussion on how to improve alliance performance and can ultimately lead to a transformation in your alliance.
Strategic Innovation Partnering: The Internet of Everything
There Is a Convergence of Technologies that is reshaping our world, yet there is not one word or phrase that captures it all. A colleague of mine coined the acronym COMBS, which decodes into Cloud, Open, Mobile, Big data, and Social. Some call this a “perfect storm” of technologies. But the impact of this storm is not limited to the world of IT. The real story is how this technology is enabling innovation across many industries and forging nontraditional alliances between technology companies and industry leaders.
Technology vendors have become increasingly dependent upon the channel to take products to market; 65% of technology alliances leverage the channels in their go to market strategy. Even more impressive is that high-performing alliances leverage channels more frequently than their low-performing counterparts. But with the 'Cloud' on the horizon, it is not altogether clear how the channel will weather the storm.
In order to optimize your Return on Relationship, you must understand how you are creating value for customers, your partner, as well as for your organization. We have conducted research into hundreds of alliances through client engagements with companies such as Cisco, Adobe, PayPal, and IBM. In our case study research, we compared the value propositions of very successful alliances and those that yielded disappointing results. We found that successful alliances tracked partner value in three dimensions: Solution, Financial, and Sales.
Getting sales reps to leverage the power of an alliance is the last mile in sell-with alliances - those that focus on driving revenue and it is by far the most treacherous mile. Seasoned alliance managers reveal their experiences regarding what works and what doesn't to get these alliances across the finish line in delivering revenue through collaboartive selling.
Cross Sector Innovation and the Role of Alliances
The California Chapter of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals held their annual Alliance Executive Roundtable on January 13, 2011. The meeting, hosted by Google on their Mountain View Campus, was attended by twenty‐four of the area’s most senior alliance leaders representing a cross‐section of the business community. Participants voiced their views on the discussion topic of: Cross Sector Innovation and the Role of Alliances.
The group explored the role alliance managers play in creating new opportunities through innovation across non‐traditional industries such as high tech with healthcare, construction and energy. Special guest, Steve White, Program Director for the IDC Software Alliances Leadership Council, shared IDC’s 2011 outlook for IDC and shared some of the trends and predictions.
Alliance Strategy for Challenging Times
At a time of economic contraction, budget cut backs, and job reductions, many organizations cut very deep into their alliance and partnering capability. Yet Cisco made the decision to maintain and even modestly increase their investment in strategic alliance partnerships and saw greater business productivity, access to new markets and new sources of revenue as a result.
Effective Executive Sponsorship
Strong and effective executive sponsorship is critical to alliance success. Executive sponsorship begins at the top with the CEO who sets the example in supporting partner relationships.
(download 79KB PDF)
Optimizing Partner Investments
Partner Surveys can reveal the strengths and weaknesses in your program and help you make fact-based decisions on where to invest.
(download 114KB PDF)
Building Win-Win-Win Value Propositions:
The Key to Sustainable Partnerships
Successful go-to-market alliances start with a compelling JOINT value proposition, one that addresses the customer buying motivations first. Creating value propositions for all stakeholders in the partnership creates not just a WIN-WIN partnership, but a WIN-WIN-WIN where the customer wins, too. Customer value ultimately translates into value for the partners in creating new products or services and new sales opportunities.
(download 71KB PDF)
Build, Buy, Partner: Speed your time to Market
Product marketing, management and development departments have pressure from all sides to add competitive differentiation to product, fill in product line gaps and offer a complete solution to customers. Product groups have three strategies they can choose from to solve these issues: Build products or components from scratch, buy components, product, product lines or companies, or partner with companies to meet these product development needs.
(download 287KB PDF)
Ramp to Results
Published in IDC Software Business Strategies, July 2002
The advantage of partnering is that it creates leverage. A company can extend its own capabilities with far less up-front investment in time, headcount, and dollars than it would take to build these capabilities in-house. By pro-actively managing the partner development lifecycle, partner managers can accelerate partner performance.
(download 41KB PDF)