Lately I have been discussing our joint initiatives and market activities with many of our channel partners. Typical work that my team and I do at the beginning of every quarter!

We have been talking about joint customer value. In other words, how can our partner add something to our product to increase its value? Traditionally this is achieved by including services delivered locally by the partner, however in the future will this be enough?

Like all large IT vendors we have Technical Alliances, primarily they exist to reduce the risk for our mutual customers. Now I am seeing our sales partners look at these Alliances and see the opportunity to deliver customer value by selling, and supporting, these certified solutions. Obvious stuff, but why has this not been widely done before? Perhaps it’s the cost, each vendor demanding partners accredit themselves, etc and invest to provide the service levels. This became a barrier and the value was not realised.

Now if the partner can work with vendors who align their Technical Partnerships and all parties put the customer first, it can be realised. The partner creates real customer value; the vendors can reduce their costs and increase their speed to market. Seems we could all win.