Archive for November 2011

Three-way ICT Alliance Teaming – a Success Case   Leave a comment

In Italy, one of my organization’s largest businesses, we have introduced a three-way alliance teaming approach that combines strengths from different kinds of partners.

My organization is a global systems integrator. We have teamed with our key partner among platform vendors to engage ISVs in their ecosystem. We go to market together with each engaged ISV both on any one opportunity and on solution-specific campaigns.

Results so far (after 6 months pilot, + 6 month deployment):

  1. Dozens of net new leads generated for later joint qualification.
  2. Multiple leads qualified into opportunities, a few closed successfully.
    Each new deal closed so far has been in some way superior to average deals: either it was larger than average, or it positioned a new joint solution, or it engaged a new customer.
  3. Better solution-level teaming for the two major partners.
    Having ISV components in a solution makes much more tangible for the systems integrator and the platform vendor what are we actually teaming on, and what special value does our joint customer receive from this teaming compared with other possible teaming options.
  4. Clearer, stronger positioning of the ISV in the partner portfolio of the others.
    When we choose to partner three-way, this gives the ISV a special role with each of the other partners.
  5. Additional, ISV-specific value for each partner and our joint customer.
    Sometimes there is a specific element of value for our joint customer that the ISV is best positioned to give.
    Sometimes the platform vendor can help the ISV better than they could help the systems integrator.
  6. Better value for my organization as systems integrator.
    Some ISVs are better aware of the specific value of our organization as partner than platform vendors are, or better positioned to leverage that value. This makes them better at rewarding us and our clients.
    Also, many such ISVs have more proactive sales approaches than platform vendors and generate a higher share of teaming opportunities.

Key features of this approach include:

  • Choosing ISVs carefully, based on criteria that address the needs of this specific alliance.
    For instance, all three partners need understand the differential value the ISV solutions bring compared with platform vendor solutions and systems integrator offerings.
  • Empowering solution sales leads in the systems integrator and platform vendor teams.
    Solution sales leads own solution blueprints and solution sales campaigns. They have the key responsibility to select what ISV products work best in their solution blueprints, and assess how good a support ISVs offer. They are in the best place to choose what opportunities to share three-way.
  • Equipping solution sales leads with the best of all partners’ alliance management tools.
    The systems integrator’s culture and tools, geared for complex, peer-to-peer, multi platform solutions and alliances, are more suitable to the most complex deals; the platform vendor has  simpler, more concrete, one-way channel management methods that help all partners provide repeatable mutual support in simple cases.
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