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Morphing Your Partnering Philosophy in a Changing World of Digital Drivers (Part One)

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Key sectors of the economy are struggling to adapt to disruptions from digital technologies, such as the cloud. The change is resulting in new business models and service sector opportunities in areas such as security and supply chains. In the 2018 ASAP Global Alliance Summit session “Partnering with Change in a World of Ongoing Disruption,” Joe Schramm, vice president of strategic alliances at BeyondTrust, and Morgan Wheaton, senior director, global partner alliances & channels at JDA Software, addressed the huge transformations taking place in these sectors. BeyondTrust has been a provider of cybersecurity software since 1985. JDA Software is one of the largest providers of supply chain and retail technology. The following insights and excerpts from the session drill down to the core of some of today’s most pressing partnering questions during a time of digital transformation:

Joe Schramm: In traditional channels, it’s about “How much product can I sell?” It’s now about “How much value-added service can I provide?” If you can’t adapt [to that new model], you will be out of business.

Morgan Wheaton: The way that you manage cash flow as a software company has changed to subscription-based. But making that change from large payments to a little every month is a chasm that some companies can’t cross.

Schramm: Our origins are more in network operations, but today, we offer complete solutions in privilege access management (PAM) and are a recognized leader in the market. BeyondTrust’s job is to protect companies from bad actors. There are three types of bad actors: nation state-sponsored actors, such as Russia, China, etc., that are after intellectual property to get trade secrets; “hacktavists”; identity thieves. They break the perimeter through fishing with suspicious email links or known vulnerabilities—such as the Microsoft operating system, Adobe, your car, pacemaker, the Grid—to gain access and control. Once in, they try to hijack privileges. Our technology  is used to reduce administrator rights. What’s new is that more in the manufacturing sector are starting to wake up and realize their IP is being compromised. Meeting those customer needs and adapting to digital technologies required rethinking partnering.

The old paradigm:

  • We sold tools; installed them
  • Partnered with resellers to fulfill
  • Systems integrators viewed as competitive
  • No strategy to extend reach

The new paradigm:

  • We sell complex solutions; partners implement
  • Partners sourcing and implementing new businesses
  • Systems integrators are strategic partners
  •   We can’t grow fast enough

Wheaton: At JDA, our customers are some of the biggest companies out there, such as all 15 of the top car companies; 60 percent of soap makers; 70 percent of prescriptions get filled by JDA software. We are seeing their world being disrupted by the cloud. Consider what Amazon is doing by creating a standard for customers where they can order a product by mail that can be returned in a day. They are setting a new bar, and retailers are undergoing massive disruption and asking “How do we compete with this?” Manufacturers need to innovate and deliver in record time. Distributors must reinvent themselves to remain relevant. What does this mean for JDA? Every CEO out there is rethinking their supply chain. We are seeing very much the same things at supply chain companies as they are at security companies. In the old paradigm, systems integrators were viewed as competitors. We partnered opportunistically—there was little standardization.

The old paradigm:

  • We offer turnkey solutions
  • Service partners only extend JDA delivery capacity
  • Systems integrators viewed as competitive
  • No need to extend reach
  • Partner opportunistically

The new paradigm

  • Together we grow the pie
  • Partners help to complete the solution
  • Systems integrators are strategic partners
  • We can’t grow fast enough
  • Partner with intent

We had to reinvent our program with three components:  Consulting partners, to help with implementation and customer strategy; tech partners; selling partners.

So how do you recognize and strategize for the current and anticipated future paradigm shifts? Schramm and Wheaton took turns answering this question, which was relevant to both industries:

  • Practice Open Communication: with partners, customers, and industry leaders.
  • Observe the Competition: What are they messaging? Are you losing your partners?
  • Watch Market Makers.
  • Watch Start-ups—how they are disrupting and how they are doing.

Part II of this post will address how key cultural changes are needed to better enable new partnering models. 

Tags:  alliances  BeyondTrust  channels  communication  cybersecurity software  disruption  implementation  JDA Software  partner  Partnering Philosophy  partners  servic  start-ups 

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