By Karen Dasey | April 3, 2018

In the alphabet soup of channel marketing acronyms, “P2P” (short for partner-to-partner) has been on the tip of people’s tongues these days. It defines a new breed of partner alliance that has risen to meet demands in cloud-driven, subscription-based technology environments where:

Customers want end-to-end solutions on a consumption basis
Partners sell to LOB (line of business) decision makers instead of the CIO
Customers tell partners to hyper-specialize and incorporate advanced technologies into customized solutions, not products

No Going it Alone In Channel Partner Ecosystems

No VAR or MSP can go it alone in this new reality, causing many to start thinking about pursuing partnerships with ISVs. To help pave the way, technology vendors and distributors are stepping up to facilitate these types of engagements in their channel partner ecosystems.

Michelle Chiantera, Vice President of Global Channel Marketing at Cisco Systems, thinks this is a smart move, revealing in this issue’s Channel Marketing Journal video interview that Cisco resellers that engage with ISVs are more profitable than those that don’t. To support these engagements, the company’s ecosystem acceleration group focuses on developing partner strategies to better align with digital transformation. (Learn more in our Editor’s Picks feature from Channel Futures.)

Cisco’s findings reflect industry trends, with IDC projecting in a February 2018 webcast, 2018 IT Channels and Alliances Predictions, P2P alliances will account for at least 30% of revenue generated by leading cloud partners by 2020. According to IDC, the growth of P2P-focused partners will far outpace that of conventional, customer-facing partners in coming years; and partnering capabilities will be a key indicator of company value by 2021.

VAR-ISV Relationships Are Natural Fit

In Channel Partner Perspective, we bring you an article suggesting that partnerships between traditional resellers and ISVs are a natural fit. VARs bring their deep customer relationships and sales experience to the table; and ISVs, their strong LOB expertise and custom SaaS applications. By moving from product fulfillment facilitator to IT solution integrator, VARs deliver more value to business customers, improving the potential for repeat sales and increasing revenue across the channel ecosystem.

But while the benefits of collaboration are clear, the competition that has historically kept VARs and ISVs apart can make for a bumpy road to partnership. Technology vendors, from their perch at the hub of the channel partner ecosystem, are perfectly positioned to create opportunities to help these former adversaries find common ground. As resellers grow more selective in their vendor choices, channel marketers that can successfully play the role of matchmaker between VARs and ISVs will have a better chance of rising above the noise and retaining partner loyalty.

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