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Unaligned Is the New Black in Partners

Posted By Larry Walsh, CEO and Chief Analyst of The 2112 Group., Monday, August 1, 2016
Updated: Sunday, July 31, 2016

More solution providers and resellers are forgoing vendor loyalty in favor of independence based on their own technical prowess and business savvy. What they lack in loyalty, they make up for in influence.

Defined by autonomy, these are the partners that align with vendors, but keep loyalty out of the mix. It’s not that they don’t value loyalty, or that they deem vendors untrustworthy. It’s just that they feel more comfortable flying solo. On the flip side, some of these partners won’t align themselves with any vendor at all.

Aligned partners without loyalty are putting their capabilities and services first. They see their value and viability in their intrinsic technology skills, domain expertise, and problem-solving capabilities. They’ve grown tired of the sales treadmill in which they earn pennies on the dollar for shilling products, and still have to perform services to make money. Maintaining vendor relationships comes with a partnership tax – the need to comply with expensive and distracting training, certification, and performance requirements. Instead, they’re letting the volume resellers – CDW, SHI, and Insight, for example – sell the product, and then they clean up by delivering the services.

Another facet of today’s vendor community that’s fueling independence in the technology channel is turmoil. As vendors go through difficult transitions – evolving business models, disruptive competition, and so forth – that chaos trickles down to the partner level. Some would rather sit and observe than get tossed into the storm.

Read the full 2112 Group article, Unaligned Is the New Black in Partners

ASAP Corporate Member, EPPP and guest blogger, Larry Walsh is CEO and chief analyst of The 2112 Group.

Tags:  Larry Walsh  partners  solution providers  technology channel  The 2112 Group  vendors 

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Relationships: Currency of the Channel

Posted By Diana L. Mirakaj | President and Chief Operating Officer of The 2112 Group, Thursday, April 28, 2016

Of all the things the channel brings to technology vendors’ table, including market reach and vertical expertise, among them, perhaps the most valuable is partners' longstanding relationships with end-user customers. 

Built on trust and knowledge, those relationships are worth their weight in gold. If there's one person on a vendor's team who can safeguard all parties involved receive maximum benefit throughout the sales process, it's the channel account manager (CAM). As the chief liaison between a vendor and its channel partners, a CAM can nurture and enable solution providers, help them gain clarity on the value proposition of a vendor's product or service and guide them in areas like marketing, where they may not be as strong as they would like. 

To bring out the best in partners and maximize their ability to leverage customer relationships, vendors and their CAMs should set measurable goals; provide constant feedback and review partner performance and channel-program reward structures periodically. 

Read the full 2112 Group article, Relationships: Currency of the Channel.

ASAP Corporate Member, EPPP and guest blogger, Diana L. Mirakaj is president and chief operating officer of The 2112 Group.

Tags:  best practices  CAM  Channel  channel business  customer relationships  Diana L. Mirakaj  end-user customers  IT Channel  partners  solution providers  The 2112 Group  vendors 

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