|By Beth Barach||
|November 18, 2010 10:15 AM EST||
The goal for any company is to create value for their customers. Selling through the channel can be an important sales strategy for any vendor if harnessed and prioritized correctly. While this approach can drive additional revenue and open up new sales opportunities, working in the channel can pose unique challenges as well.
Creating a symbiotic relationship between the vendor and reseller is crucial. In order to put a solid channel strategy in place, there needs to be tight integration between each of the channel partners, VARs, systems integrators, distributors, and vendors. To move that forward, here are six tips that vendors should adhere to in order to develop a fruitful union:
1. Build the right foundation
Vendor and channel partners alike must bring something new and different to the table. For instance, the vendor may have the rapport and technology the customer is looking for, while the reseller can offer the expertise and deep industry knowledge to execute on the delivery of services. Each party must bring a value to the table that the other does not.
2. Define channel benefits
When developing a channel strategy, define what the end goal is for each partner. Companies decide to partner when they feel there is an opportunity to gain additional lines of revenue. However, the responsibility lies with the vendor to institute a clearly defined model that empowers the channel partner to generate profits from the relationship and is well positioned to grow; otherwise, the partner will have no incentive to succeed.
3. Reinforce that brand reputation is at stake
Growing your channel program means you are growing your brand. As such, any channel partner walking into a customer site is representing you. They need to not only be knowledgeable and competent, but they must also have a respect for the brand. As these partners are essentially "wearing your shirt," they need to feel like they have a stake in your product and understand the benefit/value of what is being sold. You want to ensure that any channel partner you choose is committed to the relationship and to the brand image.
4. Do your homework
Quite simply - pick the right partners at the onset. Companies make the mistake of choosing several worldwide partners because of their geographic location. And these resellers are eager to sign on whether they have the expertise or not. In many cases, resellers are trying to sell so many vendor solutions that they become the "jack of all trades, master of none" - and in two years, both groups realize there has been little movement in the relationship. In order to avoid this pitfall, ensure that any partner you choose not only understands your business, but that you are getting appropriate mindshare and attention. As part of this process, vendors should consider creating a standard set of criteria that can be used each time they review potential partners. This not only helps in determining which partners to use, but it also provides a unified way to measure how each one is performing.
Each partner needs to be hungry for your business, and you need to understand what percentage of their business will be dedicated to you. If the partner has all their resources invested in another major vendor, then you may have to consider how committed they'll be to your business.
5. Ensure there is a cultural fit
Companies and sales philosophies must gel. Ask yourself these questions to decide if there is a fit: How do you treat customers? How do you handle disgruntled customers? How do you work with your end users? If your company and your reseller partner have similar answers, then the relationship has the ability to flourish. If the channel partner has a fundamentally different philosophy around how they handle customers or negotiations, no amount of effort is going to make the relationship work over time.
6. Outline rules and responsibilities of engagement
The definition of channel conflict is when channel partners have to compete against one another or the vendor's internal sales department. To avoid this, the vendor's needs should clearly outline the specific rules and responsibilities for each party in the upfront agreement. It's also important to be clear about how the relationship will be supported, such as implementing ongoing meetings and training sessions for both internal direct sales teams and the channel partners to ensure the communication lines are open. For instance, if 10 tasks have to be completed, make sure that they are divvied up and completed separately so there is no overlap in duties. Overlap creates conflict. In order to be successful, there can be a lot of input, but only one agreed upon output. If you get multiple outputs, then the process breaks down and channel conflict ensues. By taking the time to establish the rules and responsibilities at the start, you will know whether the partner has the same mindset as you and is similarly invested in the relationship.
Selling through the channel can be extremely lucrative and, if done correctly, can benefit all parties involved. Instead of rushing to establish partnerships based on immediate need or convenience, you need to plan ahead and manage the process strategically. By taking the time to know who you're partnering with, you can successfully navigate the channel and set both parties up for long-term success.
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin,...
Jul. 31, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 494
You often hear the two titles of "DevOps" and "Immutable Infrastructure" used independently. In his session at DevOps Summit, John Willis, Technical Evangelist for Docker, covered the union between the two topics and why this is important. He provided an overview of Immutable Infrastructure then showed how an Immutable Continuous Delivery pipeline can be applied as a best practice for "DevOps." He ended the session with some interesting case study examples.
Jul. 31, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 195
Jul. 31, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 290
Approved this February by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), HTTP/2 is the first major update to HTTP since 1999, when HTTP/1.1 was standardized. Designed with performance in mind, one of the biggest goals of HTTP/2 implementation is to decrease latency while maintaining a high-level compatibility with HTTP/1.1. Though not all testing activities will be impacted by the new protocol, it's important for testers to be aware of any changes moving forward.
Jul. 31, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 167
One of the ways to increase scalability of services – and applications – is to go “stateless.” The reasons for this are many, but in general by eliminating the mapping between a single client and a single app or service instance you eliminate the need for resources to manage state in the app (overhead) and improve the distributability (I can make up words if I want) of requests across a pool of instances. The latter occurs because sessions don’t need to hang out and consume resources that could ...
Jul. 31, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 196
Alibaba, the world’s largest ecommerce provider, has pumped over a $1 billion into its subsidiary, Aliya, a cloud services provider. This is perhaps one of the biggest moments in the global Cloud Wars that signals the entry of China into the main arena. Here is why this matters. The cloud industry worldwide is being propelled into fast growth by tremendous demand for cloud computing services. Cloud, which is highly scalable and offers low investment and high computational capabilities to end us...
Jul. 31, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 121
The Internet of Things. Cloud. Big Data. Real-Time Analytics. To those who do not quite understand what these phrases mean (and let’s be honest, that’s likely to be a large portion of the world), words like “IoT” and “Big Data” are just buzzwords. The truth is, the Internet of Things encompasses much more than jargon and predictions of connected devices. According to Parker Trewin, Senior Director of Content and Communications of Aria Systems, “IoT is big news because it ups the ante: Reach out ...
Jul. 31, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 404
Modern DevOps Tool Kit By @Logentries and @NewRelic | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Containers #Microservices
Auto-scaling environments, micro-service architectures and globally-distributed teams are just three common examples of why organizations today need automation and interoperability more than ever. But is interoperability something we simply start doing, or does it require a reexamination of our processes? And can we really improve our processes without first making interoperability a requirement for how we choose our tools?
Jul. 30, 2015 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 417
Where the Network Got Invited to the Party By @LMacVittie | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Docker #Containers #Microservices
At DevOps Summit NY there’s been a whole lot of talk about not just DevOps, but containers, IoT, and microservices. Sessions focused not just on the cultural shift needed to grow at scale with a DevOps approach, but also made sure to include the network ”plumbing” needed to ensure success as applications decompose into the microservice architectures enabling rapid growth and support for the Internet of (Every)Things.
Jul. 30, 2015 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,772
Designing the IT Architecture of the Future with Adrian Cockcroft | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Docker #Containers #Microservices
Our guest on the podcast this week is Adrian Cockcroft, Technology Fellow at Battery Ventures. We discuss what makes Docker and Netflix highly successful, especially through their use of well-designed IT architecture and DevOps.
Jul. 30, 2015 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 785
[slides] A New Architecture for the Internet of Things By @JKirklan | @ThingsExpo @RedHatNews #IoT #M2M #InternetOfThings
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...
Jul. 30, 2015 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,401
This week, I joined SOASTA as Senior Vice President of Performance Analytics. Given my background in cloud computing and distributed systems operations — you may have read my blogs on CNET or GigaOm — this may surprise you, but I want to explain why this is the perfect time to take on this opportunity with this team. In fact, that’s probably the best way to break this down. To explain why I’d leave the world of infrastructure and code for the world of data and analytics, let’s explore the timing...
Jul. 30, 2015 05:45 PM EDT Reads: 380
Take the Long View with Digital Transformation By @IoT2040 | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #API #Microservices #InternetOfThings
Digital Transformation is the ultimate goal of cloud computing and related initiatives. The phrase is certainly not a precise one, and as subject to hand-waving and distortion as any high-falutin' terminology in the world of information technology. Yet it is an excellent choice of words to describe what enterprise IT—and by extension, organizations in general—should be working to achieve. Digital Transformation means: handling all the data types being found and created in the organizat...
Jul. 30, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,093
[slides] Workloads and Public Cloud at @CloudExpo By @utollwi | @ProfitBricksUSA #DevOps #Containers #Microservices
Public Cloud IaaS started its life in the developer and startup communities and has grown rapidly to a $20B+ industry, but it still pales in comparison to how much is spent worldwide on IT: $3.6 trillion. In fact, there are 8.6 million data centers worldwide, the reality is many small and medium sized business have server closets and colocation footprints filled with servers and storage gear. While on-premise environment virtualization may have peaked at 75%, the Public Cloud has lagged in adop...
Jul. 30, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,209
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jul. 30, 2015 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 454
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with ...
Jul. 30, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 109
[session] DevOps State of Mind By @RedHatNews | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #PaaS #Jenkins #Kubernetes #Docker
Rapid innovation, changing business landscapes, and new IT demands force businesses to make changes quickly. The DevOps approach is a way to increase business agility through collaboration, communication, and integration across different teams in the IT organization. In his session at DevOps Summit, Chris Van Tuin, Chief Technologist for the Western US at Red Hat, will discuss: The acceleration of application delivery for the business with DevOps
Jul. 30, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,118
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, S...
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,060
What’s New in the World of Application Analytics By @MikeAnand | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #API #APM #Microservices
Software is eating the world. The more it eats, the bigger the mountain of data and wealth of valuable insights to digest and act on. Forward facing customer-centric IT organizations, leaders and professionals are looking to answer questions like how much revenue was lost today from platinum users not converting because they experienced poor mobile app performance. This requires a single, real-time pane of glass for end-to-end analytics covering business, customer, and IT operational data.
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,312
[video] An Interview with @ProfitBricksUSA CEO @AchimWeiss | @CloudExpo #DevOps #Docker #Containers #Microservices
"ProfitBricks was founded in 2010 and we are the painless cloud - and we are also the Infrastructure as a Service 2.0 company," noted Achim Weiss, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of ProfitBricks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 30, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,133