Use These Three Es to Develop and Assess Your Channel Relationships

  • Benelux Community Identifies Top 4 Technology Challenges

    by Bob Snyder, Editor-in-Chief, Channel Media Europe  | May 14, 2019
    CompTIA has launched an open, vendor-neutral community focused on the needs of the Benelux region, encompassing Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The goal of this new community is to help businesses thrive in a time of unprecedented change.
    Full Story
  • CompTIA ChannelChangers: Inspiring the NextGen Community

    by Brian Sherman  | May 09, 2019
    Five years ago, CompTIA created the ChannelChangers award. The association bestows this honor on a select group of young professionals who are making their mark within member companies, have shown success or originality as entrepreneurs, or have positively impacted the industry in other ways.
    Full Story
  • The All New CompTIA Canadian Business Technology Community

    by Adam Proulx, Sr. Manager, Member Communities, CompTIA  | May 07, 2019
    With more than 1,100 individuals committed to promoting the expansion and growth of Canada’s $160 billion technology industry, the CompTIA Canadian Business Technology (CBT) Community helps businesses thrive through networking and thought leadership, as well as being a platform to connect with likeminded IT professionals experiencing similar challenges and opportunities.
    Full Story
  • Six Genius Sales Tips for People in the Business of Technology

    by CompTIA  | May 02, 2019
    This year’s UK Channel Community meeting, held in Manchester focused on how to build a better business. Alongside a packed agenda of keynote speeches and panel sessions that explored how this could be achieved, the Sales Genius Café brought together industry leaders to offer their advice for better sales.
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  • CompTIA Advisory Councils Develop Standards, Solutions and Big Ideas for the Business of Tech

    by Michelle Lange  | April 30, 2019
    The mission of CompTIA’s Advisory Councils is to expand the association’s reach and relevance in emerging technologies and drive the adoption of innovative tech into mainstream business.
    Full Story
  • Why IT Needs to Keep an Eye on IoT

    by Matthew Stern  | April 25, 2019
    Smart devices for all applications are appearing more frequently in office environments. For businesses, this raises many new cybersecurity concerns. So how close are enterprises and SMBs to safely leveraging IoT? CompTIA’s 2019 Trends in Internet of Things gives guidance on where we are and need to be.
    Full Story
  • A Vision of Hope: Victor Johnston

    by Daniel Margolis  | April 25, 2019
    Read about how CompTIA’s 2018 Member of the Year, Inspired Business Innovations President Victor Johnston, pays IT forward. Then, nominate yourself or a deserving peer for the prestigious 2019 Member of the Year award, and like Victor, you could be featured in the next edition of CompTIA World Magazine! The application deadline is May 15. Apply today!
    Full Story
  • Where Are We With AR/VR? Trends You Should Know

    by Matthew Stern  | April 22, 2019
    Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are technologies that are not only getting more sophisticated, but may soon be finding their way into regular usage in office environments and other professional settings. What does that mean for businesses? Here’s a look at what might be on the way.
    Full Story
  • The Future Looks Bright for Forward-Thinking IT Services Professionals

    by Brian Sherman  | April 16, 2019
    While many IT services professionals remain focused on infrastructure and closely related applications to support their clients, the emerging technologies are opening the imaginations ̶ and checkbooks ̶ of adventurous entrepreneurs. Based on current trends detailed in the CompTIA IT Industry Outlook 2019, the business case for these emerging solutions is quickly shifting from the speculative stage to one with real interest and revenue opportunities.
    Full Story
  • Need Tech? Call Your Accountant

    by Carolyn April  | April 03, 2019
    CompTIA research finds professional services firms getting into the tech-influencer game.
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Building a solid foundation with your channel partners will help your business go down countless avenues in the future. For a vendor, finding the right channels to sell cloud services can play a key role in expanding business and reaching new, untapped markets. Local markets and others formerly out-of-reach for a cloud provider can open up with the right partnership. But the prospect of forging partner relationships can be intimidating. PartnerPath has created a helpful three-step process that defines specific stages in the creation and evolution of a healthy partnership. Understanding the three stages of partner development will let you – the vendor – wrap your mind around the complex yet crucial task of forming effective, fruitful partner relationships to sell your cloud services.

Engagement

This early phase in partner development involves you getting the ball rolling. Engagement means you getting all those involved up to speed on the partnership, on the value you hope to get out of it, the markets you intend to target and the goals you hope to achieve. During this phase, develop a strategy and an ongoing communication plan for both implementing and promoting the relationship. It’s also important in the engagement phase to set benchmarks for performance and timeframes for deliverables, and implement tools that allow you to keep metrics and measure performance.

Empowerment

Empowerment is the phase in which you focus on training. Make sure your team understands fully how your cloud technology is being implemented and used by your partner. Implement appropriate training on the technical, support and sales sides and make sure your staff understands the role they fill to make the partnership a success. This phase involves defining responsibilities as well as making sure that dedicated staff members are set up to collaborate effectively with point people on the partner side of the relationship. In addition to training and establishing roles, the empowerment phase is the time to offer performance incentives.

Evaluation

When it’s all said and done, the evaluation phase lets you step back and take stock of what’s working in the partnership and what needs altering. The goals, benchmarks and timeframes established in the engagement phase now get a look from the other side: Use them to quantify the success of the relationship and justify changes to your processes as necessary.

Think of this planning model as ongoing; once the partner relationship is established, you’re always running through the cycle. Establish expectations, make sure staff skills are up to par and evaluate what works. Make subtle tweaks to your goals and keep improving so you can keep thriving in new markets.

Learn more about forming successful channel partnerships and the three stages of cloud channel development from our Quick Start Guide to Cloud Channel Development (For Vendors).

Matthew Stern is a freelance writer based in Chicago.

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