Specialization research

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  • 1. How Special are Specializations? Does the Value Warrant the Investment? Webinar October 19, 2011Amazon Consulting 2011 1
  • 2. Panelists Jamie Mendez Laurie Evans Director, IBM Director, Global PartnerWorld Partner ProgramsAmazon Consulting 2011 2
  • 3. Respondents’ Profiles Solution Providers N- 391 Vendors N-34  Annual revenues <$5m (44%):  Large organizations: 40% 25% over $50m >$5b and 33% >$1-5 b  50% are regionally focused  More heavily software focused - 55% infrastructure  VAR and SI are two leading software & 33% applications business models (58%)Amazon Consulting 2011 3
  • 4. Polling Question What is your biggest challenge in managing your specialization program today? 1. Building & maintaining content 2. Getting the right partners to invest 3. Fostering strong field teaming and engagement 4. Providing adequate marketing support 5. Demonstrating overall ROI 5. Don’t know – don’t have a program todayAmazon Consulting 2011 4
  • 5. Definitions FOCUS: Apply skills Specializations (verticals,  Build customer solutions or satisfaction & functions) references  Focus vertically Certification & Accreditation (products) FOCUS: Build skills Core Product Apply horizontally Training (sales & technical)Amazon Consulting 2011 5
  • 6. The IBM PartnerWorld Program recognizes and rewards BusinessPartners for their market success Business Partners are Proven marketplace recognized for their success achievements with consistent criteria across the program Premier Demonstrating IBM PartnerWorld rewards skills Specialties Business Partners for  Specialized skills  Unique benefits building high value skills Advanced Business Partners earn Introduction to the IBM incremental benefits portfolio including a unique mark Member Amazon Consulting 2011 6
  • 7. What Are VMware Specializations? Competencies (Based on Solutions) IV DV BC ? • Delivers unique sales, marketing and product benefits specific to VMware solutions • Required to achieve partner membership levels Specializations (Based on Market Segments) U.S. Academic Federal Healthcare ? • Delivers unique sales, marketing benefits to focused markets • Required to gain access to restricted SKUs in certain markets Amazon Consulting 2011 7
  • 8. Discussion When are specializations an important element in a channel strategy or program?Amazon Consulting 2011 8
  • 9. When Are Specializations Important? Trigger Result 1. Portfolio grows very broad Partners can choose their focus 2. Channel conflict grows Partner need better differentiation and ways to establish customer value 3. Vendor needs to expand Use specialized partner skills to foster marketshare or enter new partner-led selling markets/verticals 4. Vendor needs to foster field Partners establish credibility and sales teaming with direct sales mindshare with vendor sales teams 5. Vendor needs to scale services Partner gets enablement and IP from delivery vendor services teams, either pre or post-saleAmazon Consulting 2011 9
  • 10. Vendors Seek End-user Value then PartnerDifferentiation % of partners specialized Response <10% 46% 11-20% 25% 21 – 35% 11% 36 – 50% 4% >50% 14% “You just cant do everything, or be all to everyone. You have to be picky and strategic.” Solution provider respondentAmazon Consulting 2011 10
  • 11. Vendors Want Competency: Partners Profitability Other Solution Provider Objectives More marketing support & visibility – 30% More channel program benefits - 23% Amazon Consulting 2011 11
  • 12. Discussion How do you measure value to the end-user, partner and vendor with a specialization program? Who’s most important?Amazon Consulting 2011 12
  • 13. Time and Expense are Barriers for All:Staffing a Bigger Issue for Larger Partners “Usually, the barrier is, that it doesn’t mean anything to the client” “We’re too small to have dedicated person for every single product” Amazon Consulting 2011 13
  • 14. Partners Want Incremental Revenue & Profit –In the First Year ROI Metrics Time to ROIAmazon Consulting 2011 14
  • 15. Discussion How do you get partners to invest? Is specializations only for the large solution provider?Amazon Consulting 2011 15
  • 16. Technology Solutions Skills Most ImportantWaning focus on customer segments or verticals (small, mid-market, enterp.) Amazon Consulting 2011 16
  • 17. Many Vertical Specializations: Limited SP Interest Amazon Consulting 2011 17
  • 18. Discussion What kind of skills are we trying to cultivate most?Amazon Consulting 2011 18
  • 19. Top Three Benefits Remain Consistent Current Benefits Future BenefitsAmazon Consulting 2011 19
  • 20. Misaligned Program ExpectationsAmazon Consulting 2011 20
  • 21. Discussion How are the programs best structured to drive value for both vendor and solution provider?Amazon Consulting 2011 21
  • 22. Discussion What are the pitfalls of launching and managing a specialization program?Amazon Consulting 2011 22
  • 23. Vendor Call to Action Assess Your Need for Specialization Why would you create specializations? Are you experiencing growing pains or partner conflict? Define an Effective Program Do specializations scale your services delivery? Are industry specializations significant in your business? Determine the Real Value Proposition Will it increase the partners’ profitability? Is the value chain (end-user, partner, vendor) clearly defined? Evaluate Your Partners’ Specializations Do you have enough partners specialized? Too many? What is the capacity for specialization? Drive Internal Alignment & Resourcing Are you aligned with product marketing and the field? Will field behavior match corporate focus?Amazon Consulting 2011 23
  • 24. Join Us Next Month:Managing SpecializationsThrough Automation Thursday, November 17, 2011 9:00 am PSTAmazon Consulting 2011 24