Channels Go Social Media

If you missed our webinar Channels go Social Media – please find on Slideshare the powerpoint presentation. Empowering partners to play a role in the fast-growing “Social Web” Brand attitude is shifting and purchase decisions are increasingly influenced by social networks, blogs, forums and online communities. Are your channel partners online – where your customers are seeking information? Has your channel marketing adjusted to this new reality? Vendors need to inspire their partners to stay ahead of the customer buying curve. This is not an ROI question or question of business process effectiveness. This is a question of keeping or losing your partner and customer relationships! This web-based seminar talked about what needs to be done today.

You find the presentation here:
http://www.slideshare.net/Xeequa/channels-go-social-media-presentation

Fine-Tuning the Channel

Marshall Lager from CRM Magazine:
“They’re not exactly employees, and they’re not quite customers, but your channel partners can be equally important — and you can’t just direct them by remote control.
You may want to read this interesting article.

What’s very interesting too is the way this article is structured – not the typical monologue but it includes a pull from a LinkedIn Q+A and other social media aspects. Well done. This is what I consider journalism 2.0

Partner Programs

Which vendor has the ultimate partner program? What works for vendor A does not mean it also works for vendor B.
Each partner program has to be easy to adopt for the partner but still tailor-made for the vendor.

During our research we came across several partner programs. A lot of programs we reviewed were just carbon copies of the channel program the big vendors released.
Seen one, seen ’em all. Nevertheless we found vendors who placed great importance to their channel programs. Clear program and dedicated channel support creates a win-win situation for partners and vendors.

I contacted several channel manager and asked for permission to show case in the book their prominent partner programs. Cross the fingers we will get all feedback in time – The content is almost completed and we expect to get some pre-print examples in July

Call for Feedback

Today I like to ask VARs, Resellers, partner channel organization to help to update our research in regards what works/worked best in channels. Nothing changes faster then “partner programs” in our industry. What was defined last fall does not mean to be still valid in spring.

During our research and interviews in the past we came across of a lot of channel activities partner loved/disagreed with. The one which is loved most by the vendor does not mean
to be the one which is loved most by the partners. To make sure that our book is up to date I like to get also feedback from resellers, VARs and everyone who is in indirect sales to learn
which current “channel program” works best for partners and for vendors.

Also any commentary or statement around channels you would allow us to publish it in the book as a best practices example would be very welcome.

Please share with us your anecdotes, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Just contact me via the blog, by email marita.roebkes@channelexcellence.com or by phone
650 384 0057.

New Channels for SaaS

A new white paper is available, covering some of the challenges vendors and partners are having when building a channel for Software as a Service solutions.
The white paper is publicly available through either the SIIA website or directly here from the channel excellence blog.

The white paper covers primarily the differences between SaaS Channels and traditional IT channels and the opportunity for the industry to build such channels and for new entrepreneurs to become a “Catalyst” for the SaaS industry.

SaaS Channel Committee 2007

As the new chair for the SaaS Channel Committee from the SIIA (Industry association for the software industry) I’m working on some concrete goals for 2007 and also search for committee members who will help grow the indirect business side of the SaaS industry.

Functional areas where I recognized a need in the industry:
– Guidance in regards to contracts for a three party relationship: user, partner and vendor
– Guidance in regards to compensation and margin questions
– Guidance for building and retaining indirect channel relationships
– Guidance for new partners: how to build a successful SaaS implementer
– Providing industry best practices and act as a sounding board for new ideas

Any feedback or support is very much appreciated. Please email to as@channelexcellence.com

Channel Strategies Session at SIIA OnDemand

At this first “OnDeand Conference” from the SIIA in SanJose, channels will play an important role of the conference. On November 8, 3:45pm – 4:30pm, I will host a panel of SaaS vendors and channel partners discussing how vendors and partners can be successful by leveraging each other.

Channel Strategies – How partners make money in SaaS and how vendors and partners can leverage each other

How leading SaaS vendors and leading SaaS partners successfully leverage each other. How partners make money and what vendors invest in the partnership. What worked and what didn’t. Learn from channel thought leaders how they see the channel developing as SaaS products get more and more consumed in a global market.

PANELISTS
Eric Berridge (BlueWolf – Reseller)
Jeff Hausman (Symantec – Vendor)
Robert Jurkowski (Intacct – Vendor)
Philippe Vincent (Accenture – Consultant).

You will find more information at www.siia.com

Interview with Eric Berridge, BlueWolf Group.

Bluewolf Group represents a new breed of channels, specifically designed for the SaaS industry. With the firms 175 consultants they help companies implement and integrate solutions from salesforce.com, Eloqua, Openair, Responsis, and do some custom work for SAP, Oracle and others. Bluewolf Group drives on-demand revenue through their consulting practice.

In accordance to Eric Berridge, SaaS channels make either money by providing consulting services around certain solutions or by developing products enhancing existing solutions. He states that salesforce.com does an amazing job for the developers making the product partner friendly.

Eric’s advice: Vendors need to ensure that their partners can be self sufficient and that the partner doesn’t require resources from their vendors to buy and implement a product.