Last week, I attended the Channel Focus North America and Latin America Conference in San Diego, CA and enjoyed engaging in a number of conversations and sessions with other channel executives. Lots of great topics were discussed, including these few that I particularly enjoyed:
The vendors role in helping partners migrate their businesses to the cloud, its economics, and how distributors can play a role in supporting you and your partners in this effort. It’s clear that we need to help partners move towards a business value selling model and acquire or develop the skills needed to sell to functional departments beyond IT -- like marketing and sales -- where technology buying decisions are increasingly being made.
Partner compensation and engagement models were also hot topics with discussions on helping align the partners’ objectives with yours and the need to engage with them so you can incorporate their feedback and understand what is important to them for the success of your program.
How to make your partners lives easier, including having an effective onboarding program with a prescriptive roadmap to success based on partner certifications and capabilities. Recommendations included having an online self-service enablement platform with engaging content that is easy for partners to access; ensuring channel account teams are aligned and capable of driving the onboarding objectives; and providing a clear path from partner orientation to driving demand and selling.
How To Use Social Media in the Channel was a session where the presenter discussed how 75% of their IT audience watch job-related videos like how to install product, and how they are using social media to “Educate, Engage, and Empower” their partners.
Check out the videos of several presenters at the conference, where they provide an overview of what they discussed and shared with other attendees.
BJ Schaknowski, CA Technologies, Vice President North America Partner Sales delivered the Keynote presentation, “Adapting to your Partners Ever-Changing Business Models, How the Cloud will Change the Partner-Vendor Paradigm”
Jon Roskill, Microsoft, Vice President Worldwide Partner Group delivered the keynote on Day 2 titled “The State of the Channel – An Analysis of the Key Changes in the Channel and How Partners are Responding”
Bill Griffin, Autodesk, VP Global Channels finished up the conference with an engaging session on “Beyond the Transaction – How do You Reward Partners for the Value they Really Bring”
Tom Flink, Citrix Systems, Vice President Channels and Market Development presented “Channel Analytics – Just what should You be Measuring and How do You Utilize the Results to Improve Channel Performance”
Steve Hale, former Channel Chief at Sophos and Managing Director of ZenLion Consulting, presented “Making Your Partners Lives Easier – Five Key Things you can do to Make Your Company Easier to do Business With”
Please share your thoughts and comments on any of these topics and I hope to see you at next year’s conference.