Canalys has expanded its leading channels research offerings with the launch of Partner Program Analysis. The service focuses on the issues faced by senior channel management when developing and maintaining partner programs. It helps vendors compare their program offerings with those of their competitors, identify key differentiators and learn from other vendors’ initiatives across the IT community.
Partner programs provide very important foundations for the relationships between vendors and their channels. Programs help vendors enable channel partners through sales, marketing and technical support initiatives. But, most importantly, they are vital for a partner’s profitability.
‘Managing a partner program is a constant balancing act,’ said Alastair Edwards, Principal Analyst. ‘Programs need to be simple, but offer partners a chance to differentiate themselves. All partners want to be rewarded, but those that go the extra mile should be appropriately recognized. Partners need to be managed, but too much bureaucracy leads to frustration.’
Alex Smith, Senior Analyst, added that, ‘Programs used to be very regionalized, but are increasingly becoming more global. The stakes are higher for vendors competing in a global economy. Vendor strategies and messaging need to be in sync; the same can be said for partner programs. Yes, there will still be local variations, but standard program frameworks are important.’
According to a recent Canalys channel survey, 26% of partners join the partner programs of all the vendors that they sell. A further 59% will join if they can see a program’s benefits.
‘Of course, a vendor’s program is not the only thing that matters to a partner,’ said Rachel Brindley, Senior Analyst. ‘Partners want to sell good products that are in high demand by customers. But partners want to work with vendors that are good to do business with. There are plenty of examples of vendors with good products failing to build a successful channel business because they had the wrong partnering strategies in place.’
Clients of the service will be able to get feedback from the channel community on their program offerings through Canalys’ online community, Candefero, as well as via the Canalys Channels Forums.
Vendors interested in learning more about Partner Program Analysis should contact their local Canalys office for more information.