Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Strategic Partnership, An Overview

Partnerships and strategic alliances between technology vendors and Managed Service Providers (MSP) drive sales and bring success to technology firms and their partners. MSPs have played a significant role in taking a vendor’s product or service to the customers.

Though these partnerships look like a win-win situation, not all partnerships yield the right results. Some MSPs struggle or just overlook their partner’s service or offering and what starts to be a bright and positive partnership doesn’t take off. Typically, it affects the overall growth the company has expected for its fiscal year. If you take a closer look, some tech companies partner with hundreds of MSPs, VAR, Resellers and expect the partners to do all the selling.

The partnership will do more harm than good if the partners do not understand the value proposition of its partner’s products and if the companies fail to address the value of a product/offering it brings to the end customer. MSP vendors should know how their partner’s product can/would address the pain points. Failing to create a value proposition is directly proportional to failing to sell.

ICT firms should first and foremost address the product’s value proposition and engage with the partners and make them understand the product’s core capabilities and its value. Signing up with partners is only the first step to reach the prospects. To engage with the partners on a daily or weekly basis and address the knowledge gap that the partner has is also of utmost importance. Increasingly many companies come up with the “Partner Portal”.

With more and more ICT companies signing MSP, VAR and Resellers, its only evident that without a Partner Portal it would be hard to track the activities across the Partner community. Partner portal gives the company and its vendor a common platform to find information about the product, such as

  • a library where partners can gain knowledge on the product by referring to product-related documents.

  • a deal registration page to register a deal and track the status of a lead or a vendor in itself.

  • a representative contact page where partners can pose a question that either the partner or its customer has raised.

The partner contact page is the bridge between ICTs and its vendor.

Furthermore, Partners need to be segmented and differentiated to understand what they do and to track their progress. Across the industry, the most commonly classified partners are Gold, Silver, and Platinum based on various parameters that the company defines. These segmentations can also be used to motivate the Partners to go to the next stage if they meet the agreeable targets.

Partner Portal is one of the most used tools to connect companies and their partners. A well-defined Partner page is a priority for most companies to engage with their vendors. To have a successful partnership with a vendor it is critical that the partners are well informed about the company’s products, the value proposition that it has to offer and how would it really help or leverages its capabilities to the end-user.

 

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