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ChannelCandy Whitepaper


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Mobile is a truly disruptive technology – it has been driven primarily out of the consumer market and will impact almost every part of a company’s operations in 2013. This includes sales, marketing, customer service and yes, the Channel.

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ChannelCandy Whitepaper

  1. 1. Is it time to take your Channel Mobile?As we begin 2013, mobile technology is already shaping up to be the story of theyear. Smartphone penetration has exploded to 60% in the United States – andcloser to 85% when looking at technology channel professionals. In addition, 25%of people also own a tablet – likely double that in the Channel.The numbers are dizzying; Apple isforecasted to sell almost 1.7 millionof the iPhone 5 per day in Decemberworld-wide and is marching towards1 billion iOS units sold by 2015.Android is selling even more,activating close to 1.5 million unitsper day. This is forecasted todouble by later this year.Mobile is a truly disruptivetechnology – it has been driven primarily out of the consumer market and willimpact almost every part of a company’s operations in 2013. This includes sales,marketing, customer service and yes, the Channel.There are more than 1.5 million mobile apps on the market today. When lookingat business apps, most are offering very simple functionality and seem to befocused on garnering consumer attention. This isn’t unlike the evolution of theweb in the late 90’s. Websites evolved from simple online brochures withgimmicks such as spinning logos, to comprehensive business enabled portals.Mobile is now starting down that evolutionary path and 2013 will be the yearwhere new and novel use cases will be tested. Using technology benefits such aslocation, motion adaptive, social-awareness, calendar access, cameras andspeech, these apps will be much more automated and predictive than a browserever could be.
  2. 2. How do you take advantage?Marketing has led the early charge for consumer facing mobile apps. Many appstoday are merely PR-based initiatives. Much like the early web, savvy businessesdon’t have to be convinced of mobiles tremendous potential – and they will driveinnovation.One thing we learned very early on the web was that static homepages createdan experience gap with users and they didn’t return. Without fresh content andthe ability to actually do something productive, attracting users was a one-timeproposition. We see that today with companies creating apps that are not muchmore than shiny brochures. Driving engagement, sharing key sales and service enablement tools and real-time information are critical in today’s Channel environment. The old vehicles are just not working anymore at the same level of success – less and less people are opening emails, portal usage is at an all-time low, and even webinar and tradeshow attendance is down. While we are still in the early days for mobility – it is a perfect time for vendors, distributors and associations to jump ahead of the curve and build a useful app for their partners.
  3. 3. The decision to buy vs. build a mobileapp can be a tough one. Manyinternal mobile development teamsare focused on the core product orservice and don’t have the expertiseor cycles to build an effective channelapp. Conversely, getting the appdeveloped by a local boutique firmwouldn’t scale with the interactivity,security, channel tools and processintegration required.Typically, most partners woulddownload an app – curious to assessits utility – and quickly delete oncethe app is deemed to be irrelevant.Much like the early web, active usagewill only be driven by dynamiccontent, interactivity and utility.Fundamentally, companies will haveto align their mobile partner strategywith their business strategies.Leveraging mobile partnercommunication will save costs anddrive new revenue with sales enablement and training.Partner satisfaction will also be higherDesigning from the partners perspective is important. The ability to easily stayup-to-date on products, programs and other key information in one place,combined with access to sales tools such as configurators, product selectors,quoting and deal registration will be a game changer. Adding a social elementwhere partners can comment, like or dislike adds real-time feedback for vendors.
  4. 4. A New Solution hits the MarketChannelCandy is an Enterprise Mobile Platform designed for vendors tocommunicate and engage with their channel partners on the go. Running onvirtually every mobile device, it puts real-time Partner Program highlights, news,alerts, and sales tools in the hands of the channel.Many of the top vendors, distributors, franchises and associations have chosenChannelCandy to power branded Mobile Apps for their members and partners.Why a Branded Mobile App?Today, Channel program information is sent to Partners by email, newsletters,webinars, telesales and consumer social media. A Web Portal then acts as a catch-all library for storing program details, sales enablement, incentives, education,certifications and technical information.Tremendous amounts of time and energy go into creating materials that arestored in these portals, but they receive little traffic. CompTIA recently conducteda survey and found:  Less than 5% of channel partners regularly use vendor portals.  17% open Vendor emails, only 2% click or take any action.
  5. 5.  Information is usually sent to and filtered by a “Vendor Champion” (doesn’t reach sales, marketing and technical teams directly)  Partners who use Vendor programs are the most successful and profitable.  85% of Channel professionals own a smartphone, tablet or both and use them regularly for business.At ChannelEyes, we’ve talked to hundreds of Solution Providers and they all agreethat it’s impossible to continually read and disseminate key vendor information.The average Partner deals with at least 10 vendors and distributors; each sendingmultiple communications per week.There’s no easy way to constantly review all of the vendor portals, read all thenewsletters or emails – decide what is important - and then notify the people intheir organization who need to know.How will this improve my Channel communications?A Partner app will be the single place for Channel Partners to see a snapshot ofnew vendor channel information, news and updates every day. They can controlthe programs they need to follow, filter the information based on their job roleand join the conversation.With 85% of professionals inside Partner organizations carrying a smartphone ortablet, it is a unique way to communicate at a personal and consistent level. Oneof the results of the mobility trend has been the extension to the traditionalbusiness day; not only are devices being used during the day, at customerlocations, they are used just as much at night and on weekends.
  6. 6. A Partner app will improve:Channel Sales Enablement – by delivering the tools and resources necessary tomake your Channel act as an extension to your own sales team. Vendors can evensend motivational messages to drive the sales cycle forward!Channel Education – publishing rich media such as videos, whitepapers, casestudies and certification courses, Vendors canraise the level of knowledge and capabilities ofyour Partners.Channel Incentives – Partners admit that theyleave money on the table because they don’tregularly stay up to date. With a mobile app,they can set alerts and be notified each time anew incentive can drive new behavior.Channel Tools – by customizing the app withexternal tools such as configurators, calculators,quoting tools, deal registration and productinformation, Vendors will drive better sell-thru,stronger options and accessories attach, as wellas more robust program participation.Technical Updates – keep your Channel Partners up to date with tech bulletins,service fixes and other critical updates in real-time. Technicians can customize theapp to receive push notifications and collaborate with other members of thecommunity, leveraging the wisdom of the crowd.
  7. 7. Getting Started With ChannelCandyThe development of the app is largely turn-key.The team at ChannelEyes creates and designs the app with initial guidance fromthe Vendor. The branding of the app, including logos, colors, splash pages, as wellas collecting information sources such as Twitter, RSS, blogs, industry magazines,news, etc.The initial consultation takes between 60 and 90 “time from initialminutes and focuses on defining roles andresponsibilities, collecting marketing assets and consultation tooutlines the process around integration with the delivery of theApple and Android stores. app is 6 weeks.”Discussions around customization of the app startduring this consultation session. Outlining thetools, resources and special links to be included inthe app, as well as development resources required.ChannelEyes will submit the app into the Apple App Store as well as Google PlayAndroid Marketplace. The app will also be deployed as a mobile website, allowingusage on other mobile platforms such as Windows and Blackberry.The time from initial consultation to delivery of the basic app is 6 weeks.Customizations will take longer and will depend on the complexity anddevelopment work required.
  8. 8. How the app worksThe app will be downloaded by your Partners from the App Store for their device.The Vendor logo and colors will show up as an icon on their home screen.As with other apps, future improvements and feature additions will be madeavailable and automatically updated. The notification feature will be activeshowing a red circle including the amount of missed messages on the upper rightside of the app icon. When the Partner clicks on the icon they are taken to a security sign on screen. Vendors can easily manage authorizations at the Partner organization level, saving time and ensuring that only trusted people are accessing your information. There are several ways to manage Partner invitations to the app, including a Partner Pass unique code, whitelisting, or by Partner request.After the security screen, the Partner will access their main social wall. Here theywill see a snapshot of Vendor’s new channel information, news and updates. Theycan control the programs they need to follow, filter the information based ontheir job role and engage with questions or comments.The Vendor has the flexibility to include content sources such as Twitter, RSS,blogs and industry news.These highlights can quickly be scanned by the Partner and selected for moreinformation. This drives more traffic to Web Portals, marketing sources andlanding pages.
  9. 9. Customizing the appChannelCandy is a platform that can be easily expanded to include the tools,resources and enablement features to drive new levels of engagement byChannel Partners.There are several options for incorporating new functions into the app: 1. Link directly to mobile ready pages (ex: HTML 5) 2. Build forms that can transfer information securely back to the Vendors internal systems (example: deal registration) 3. Build mobile features directly into the app Other ways to customize the app are to change the log in screen and add advertisements into the social stream. Announcing new products, programs, or co-marketing with another company is possible within the app. The ChannelEyes team will work with the Vendor on different custom options and recommend solutions that blend a great Partner experience with cost effectiveness.ChannelCandy PricingPricing is on a yearly subscription model and includes hosting, upgrading andmaintenance in the App Stores. The price is based on how many Partnercompanies that will be using the app and supports unlimited users within each ofthe companies, unlimited posts, content sources and logins.Learn more at: or call (518) 915-1188