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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Mellor - KloudReadiness, LLC

Are Channel Ecosystems ready for Cloud & Subscription Growth?

Most of them are not and it’s tough to determine what steps should be taken to effectively grow and thrive in the Subscription Economy…

As we’ve all witnessed first-hand, technology vendors and distributors are spending a great deal of time, money, and resources trying to leverage and grow cloud and digital service capabilities within their Partner Ecosystems, however, many of their legacy partners are simply not ready or willing to make the move to a subscription-based business model that would better position them to effectively capture the service & solution opportunities that exist today.

Vendor & Distributor Ecosystem Challenges

It is vitally important that vendor and distribution players understand what capabilities exist within their Channel Partner Ecosystem. More importantly, they need an enhanced approach in determining and recognizing who within that ecosystem is ready and willing to seize the opportunity and invest in driving consistent growth.

The simplest and most effective way ecosystem and community leaders can gain visibility and ensure alignment with channel partners is to perform a baseline business model assessment to determine the function, fit, readiness, and value of potential partners.

This would allow technology providers to truly determine who’s ready to produce value and results today and what other partners need to do to be productive down the road. It is imperative that technology providers segment partners into readiness groups so that have the visibility required to make the proper partner investments at the right time, with the right resources, and at the proper level to ensure success.

Transacting partners will still have their place within ecosystems, however, the margins will be slim and the impact of that portion of the value stream will be minimized. Technology vendors and distributors will look to work with partners who understand how to leverage their unique capabilities to maximize their share of the services multiplier that is generated by those vendors who are supplying the market with superior technology that solves tough business problems.

Today all technology suppliers looking to build diverse communities that provide maximum value to their targeted customers need to strengthen their ecosystems and know:

- Who’s ready to drive cloud & subscription services revenue today…

- Which partners are growth-oriented and willing to transform their business…

- Who’ll be ready to drive cloud services & subscription sales tomorrow…

- Which partners will continually invest in growing their solutions practice …

- Who won’t be ready or willing to be productive now or in the future…

Assessments, delivered at scale hold the key to unlocking the information critical in guiding Ecosystem & Community Managers in making the most effective ecosystem investments possible to ensure they deliver high-growth, superior returns, and provide customers with the expertise and guidance to maximize the value of the supplier’s solution-stack.

There are many partners ready to make the move to subscription and digital services - vendors and distributors simply need to take a leadership role in guiding them in the transformation of their business by providing a solid framework and the proper economic model required to provide the catalyst to drive partners into their ecosystem and adopt their technology solutions rapidly.

More on Vendor & Channel Ecosystems

If you have an interest in diving deeper into channel ecosystems and are looking to understand the impact of this sea change more fully, you should look at the incredible work done by Jay McBain of Forrester. Jay clearly outlines the value of ecosystems, outlines where the industry is going, the best way to get there, and the ramifications of not seizing the opportunity.

The future is here, and we are quickly seeing channel ecosystems replacing the channel programs that have been in place for decades. Technology suppliers and distributors who can clearly understand the business readiness status and value proposition their various partner types are bringing to the table will be the winners.

With all the technology marketplaces available today, customers can procure almost any solution in a matter of minutes… It is the vendor who has the right mix of partners within their ecosystem who can maximize the value of the technology that will survive and thrive in the years to come.

So, remember the key to ecosystems success is understanding your partners by assessing, analyzing, segmenting, and enabling the partners who have the highest probability to succeed based on key attributes – it’s not about the volume of partners you can sign-up these days, but rather the value of those partners in driving successful business outcomes for your clients.

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