Driving More Sales Through Partnerships: The Case for Building a Robust Channel Program

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The following is a guest post by Maritza Handal, Global ISV Co-Sell Lead within the One Commercial Partner (OCP) Organization at Microsoft.

The rationale for partnering with other companies is simple: It is a way to expand your business without making big investments in people and infrastructure.  When you find the right partners, you can leverage their marketing engines, resources, expertise, customer base and/or geographic location to generate more revenue for your business. A successful partner strategy can make you more competitive and increase your market reputation, allowing you to win new customers and deals in your existing as well as new markets.

The move to the Cloud makes partnering even more attractive.  In an on-premises business, many Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) are comfortable with their current business model.  You have existing customers, well-defined solutions and services, and a clear understanding of what it takes to succeed.  For many of you there is no immediate need to disrupt what you are doing today.

But you also know that the world is changing rapidly, and to stay ahead of the game, you need to transition all or part of your business. Effective partnering can ease the way to this transition, reducing the investment and the potential disruption.

Though the benefits are clear, you may be put off by partnering because it is hard work. It takes a lot of time, money and resources to build successful relationships and develop trust. It's possible you don't know where to start. Or worse, you may have invested significant time and effort in partnerships in the past and failed. This doesn't mean that partnering itself is a misguided strategy, however. It just means that you probably didn't have the right partners, or perhaps you didn't have the right channel strategy in place to attract, select and manage the right partners.

This is where we can help. As part of Microsoft Go-to-Market (GTM) services, Microsoft offers several programs that help its partners not only define a robust cloud partner-to-partner strategy through workshops but also gain access to hundreds of thousands of partners across the world. With Microsoft GTM services, we provide a platform for you to connect and co-sell with our partner ecosystem, through activities such as Partner-to-Partner (P2P) match-making events, co-sell days and more.

To learn more about our programs and how to get started, visit Microsoft Go-to-Market Services or speak to your Microsoft representative.

(Special thanks to Harald Horgen, CEO of the York Group, for his contribution to the creation of this content.)

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