John Guido | August 24, 2021
In a world brimming with digital technology, the need to be a “master of all trades” seems to be at an all-time high. However, we know that it’s unlikely for your business to be an expert at all IT skills. An exciting solution to this new demand is open partner-to-partner (P2P) ecosystems. 1
In fact, because open ecosystems create such value and the collaboration requires a structured approach, IDC predicts that if businesses do not have a proactive, organized one in place by 2022, they will likely fail. 2 IDC also predicts that skill shortages will become a critical bottleneck to partner growth and will be the primary inhibitor to success for 30% of all partner organizations through 2023. 3 We’re already seeing this play out in real-time due to COVID-19 as companies across the U.S. are up against a talent shortage and wage inflation, especially with the rise in remote work. This makes the talent squeeze especially difficult for medium and small businesses. 4
When considering a customer’s point of view, finding the right technology solution can help boost many aspects of their business. Introducing new innovative technology is challenging, and selecting the right team to deliver those solutions is equally important. Many customers rely on trusted advisors to provide this value. To meet these expectations, IT solution providers will need to engage experts to fill skill gaps on their team to deliver a total solution efficiently. Leveraging an open P2P ecosystem for these engagements will enable partners to fulfill customers’ increasingly complex needs.
What Is An Open Ecosystem
An open ecosystem is where businesses utilize a marketplace to find trusted solution providers to help find the skills or technology needed to deliver an end solution. This marketplace does the leg work for you to provide access to pre-vetted, trusted experts – efficiently providing access to a highly qualified pool of resources.
Almost every vendors’ channel leader is considering the benefits of an ecosystem platform to help facilitate channel growth and partner-to-partner interaction for a variety of reasons:
- The IT services market is growing, while the hardware demand and margins are declining.
- IT solutions are now more multifaceted than ever.
- No one vendor or service partner is delivering the entire customer solution.
- Vendors are witnessing a shift to more service-centric, multi-vendor models that rely heavily on multi-channel relationships.
- Channel leaders, in an effort to provide continued value to their partners, are looking for additional products and services to help facilitate partnering and growth within their respective ecosystems.
Challenges Associated with Closed Ecosystems
Typically, many channel partners participate in closed ecosystems with other solution providers that have similar skills. This type of ecosystem is becoming more and more inefficient – especially since it fails to deliver diverse skills to meet growing technology requirements. You risk spending resources to identify people you trust for each skill set in the IT world, and even then they may not be available for your project, their services may be outside of your budget, they could have a conflict of interest – the list goes on.
Additional inefficiencies with closed ecosystems include:
- The end-customer’s needs go beyond the bounds of one vendor’s partners.
- Many efforts tend to focus more on high-level skill matching rather than project execution.
- There is no compelling value for a partner to join a closed system over an open system. Why would the partner give up choice and flexibility if an open ecosystem alternative were available?
- Enablement efforts are too vendor centric and don’t take into account the adjacent solution components.
- Solution Providers, of all types (MSP’s, VARs, Resellers, RSI, etc.), have multiple vendor relationships — creating the foundation and need for an open ecosystem environment.
How Open Ecosystems Improve Efficiency
It requires thoughtful consideration to solve complex and specific issues in any industry. Internal efficiency is a leading focus point for business improvement, as it affects so many aspects like revenue, employee happiness, and even data management. Giving your team more resources is never a bad thing – it can only improve how quickly they are able to pivot when needed, make decisions, and execute to complete customer projects.
According to IDC’s 2021 Channel Predictions it requires thoughtful consideration to solve complex and specific issues in any industry. Internal efficiency is a leading focus point for business improvement, as it affects so many aspects like revenue, employee happiness, and even data management. Giving your team more resources is never a bad thing – it can only improve how quickly they are able to pivot when needed, make decisions, and execute to complete customer projects.
According to IDC’s 2021 Channel Predictions 5, by the end of 2024, aggregators’ marketplaces will become the primary pane of glass for over 50% of partners. They predict that full vendor participation is essential, and that vendor marketplaces must link to aggregator marketplaces to achieve their potential.
For instance, Arrow Electronics is no stranger to driving efficiency with technology. Arrow’s enterprise computing solutions business aggregates the world’s leading technologies and services to enable its global channel ecosystem. Arrow’s cloud management platform, ArrowSphere, removes complexity in the IT buying process by connecting these technologies with thousands of channel partners and millions of end-users through an extensive cloud catalog and consumption management capabilities. ArrowSphere is an excellent example of a premiere cloud enablement platform that simplifies the complexity of delivering cloud services across the spectrum of enablement, from quoting and ordering to provisioning, billing, and invoicing.
Arrow is leveraging P2P Global to help automate services orchestration with their service provider network.
“Teaming with P2P Global represents the future of the open ecosystem. This platform allows our partners to tap into a marketplace to identify resources, expand into new IT offerings, and offer their services to other P2P members looking to supplement their capabilities,” said Mark Taylor, president of Arrow Electronics’ enterprise computing solutions business for North America.
The P2P Global ecosystem platform enables channel partners to innovate and expand their business partnerships by offering a collaboration marketplace that connects highly specialized, top-tier technological service providers – facilitating partnerships to provide solutions for complex IT projects and extend their reach to vendors. As channel partners expand their value proposition to become their customer’s best-of-breed “trusted advisor,” their ecosystem approach will raise the bar and become a competitive advantage.
At P2P Global, our goal is to bridge the skill gap in the IT space with ease. We strive to provide the best and most efficient way to connect with the right tech integration solutions and skilled professionals for your project. Everyone on our platform is an expert and credible in their field, and our process curates candidates for your needs to improve efficiency. We select the best-fit matches and provide a set of ranked candidates for you to review, where you can then evaluate, select, and instantly connect all in one place. This creates an efficient process to hire and begin projects faster.
The base features of P2P Global includes:
- P2P Global’s technology-enabled platform allows members, as an opportunity creator, to post a project opportunity with specific requirements such as skills, certifications, location, or experience.
- Then, P2P Global uses an algorithm to connect those companies with a curated list of solution-providers that match their project’s requirements.
- Members, as opportunity responders, have the ability to respond to curated projects matched to their companies and their specific skill set.
- P2P Global then streamlines the partnership agreement process once both parties have agreed to move forward.