I run into an excellent blog by Bill McComb, CEO of Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. The blog gives examples of failed enterprises that did not understand when to partner and examples where it has worked tremendously well. One very well-known example is Barnes & Noble’s failed strategy in its eBook reader business where it should have partnered with an established hardware vendor to create an eBook reader, but ended up creating Nook that failed drastically. Another well-known example is BlackBerry’s failed attempt to revitalize the BlackBerry platform by introducing a new music service… I still remember that moment (as a BlackBerry use at the time, now a happy Nokia Windows 8 Phone user) and thought for myself: “why on earth would you do that and there is no way I am going to sign for that”. Even if Mr. McComb is not from the software industry, the same rules apply well to that as well. I have a passion for partnering and always have.. so this blog entry from Mr. McComb made me smile.
I have had the opportunity to work with and within an amazing non-profit organization International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP), first as President for Dallas-Fort Worth chapter and then eventually global President for the organization. During my tenure with the organization, I also had the pleasure to work with IDC (led by Darren Bibby from IDC) to measure the impact of partnering and the results confirmed that the organizations that partner, will have higher profitability than the ones that don’t. A new study (third one for IAMCP) released during Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC13) in Houston, confirmed that this really is the case. You can also download from WPC web-site IDC’s study of successful cloud partners and what it really is that makes them successful. It is a good read for sure!
The latest study done by IDC of IAMCP members show that 25.1 of partners (of the top quartile) had 30% or more of their revenue related to Partner-to-Partner (P-2-P) deals. This is a very telling story why partnering matters and why leadership teams at ISVs and SIs should care about this. I am also tremendously excited about the Managed Service Provider (MSP) space as I did a study of the US markets during spring-summer 2012 to really get an understanding how MSPs drive their business, what their pain-points are and where the revenue earning opportunities are. In the same vein, I looked at distributors and large account resellers (LARs) and to my big surprise, there was lots of investment done in building a cloud business and partnering with ISVs. I think the distributor and LAR business will have interesting and exciting times as they really have to identify their role in the overall ecosystem going forward.
The objective of this blog post was to highlight that partnering does carry results with the right attitude and approach. In future posts, I will also give examples of failed and successful partnering models for both ISVs and SIs as I think it is important for each leader to recognized if he or she has the partnering in the DNA… if not, then partnering might not be something to consider. There is no need to waste time on either side. I have many cases of this as well that I have seen and experienced.