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How to Form Partnerships and Not ‘Get Screwed’

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CHANNEL PARTNERS EVOLUTION — The complex demands of a customer often lead solution providers to partner with peers, so how do you avoid getting burned?

Three channel experts sat down Monday for a concurrent education session to discuss how a solution provider can safely and effectively team up with another partner to help the digital transformations of companies like Amy Acme’s.

Education session panelists discuss smart ways to partner with fellow solution providers.Their discussion targeted an audience that expressed the concern that partnering with another solution providers will ultimately result in getting business stolen from them.

“You have to find the right people that (1) are actually going to be able to pull that off, (2) can actually give you proof of that, and (3) aren’t going to say something stupid in front of Amy,” said Michael Bremmer, CEO of TelecomQuotes. {ad}

Bremmer joined Channel Partners Evolution conference panelists Neil Ende, managing partner at Technology Law Group; Holly Hartman Niedzielski, Ingram Micro’s director of event marketing and partner communities; and moderator Rebecca Rosen, president of Sales Enabled.

Each panelist agreed with the consensus that it is essential to make a formal agreement with the partner in order to set the proper boundaries. It needs to be on paper, Bremmer said.{ad}

“Don’t do it on trust, because you’ll get screwed,” he said.

Ende said issues of distrust and uncertainty usually arise when the two parties make only informal plans. In some cases, one group takes advantage of the lack of formality to act underhandedly, but more than often, Ende said it’s just a miscommunication or a lack of communication.

“Force the parties to talk about every issue that might come up when they start,” he said.

It’s especially important to formalize the agreement when you are already on very friendly terms with the other solution provider.

“When the person is your friend, it’s twice as important to write it down, because you don’t talk about that stuff like that with your friend,” Ende said.

Hartman Niedzielski urged partners to network more and not be afraid to seek out new partnerships.

“Start having conversations about what you’re really good at and maybe some areas in which you feel that you need some help,” she said.


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