Channel Expert Addresses Partner Collaboration

To partner or not to partner? That is the question that Ken Presti, president of Presti Research & Consulting, intends to answer in Sunday’s session about partner collaboration. Many channel partners might be wondering when it makes sense to partner with one another and when it is more favorable to go it alone.

Last year, Presti conducted a Partner Collaboration Survey with partners in both the IT and voice realms across the United States and Canada. His intention was to get a sense of whether partnering was actually occurring or if it was just more of an “academic discussion.” He wanted to research the ins and outs of partner collaboration, see if it was working and determine whether partners intended to keep forging these types of relationships. Presti will share some of his most interesting findings..

“Partners need to think about whether to limit themselves to partnering with people whom they already know, or whether to cast the net more broadly and forge new alliances,” said Presti. “The key is to be able to do this effectively at the speed of business and to build connections between the two organizations at different levels. It’s not enough to have the people in the corner offices agree on it, if those below them fail to execute. Conversely, it can’t be done solely at the lower levels without buy-in from upstairs.”

Presti said partner collaboration can be most effective in two situations: when one partner lacks a certain technical expertise that the other can provide, or when partners have complementary geographical reaches. And, of course, he explains, this brings about a “which came first?” kind of discussion about whether these partnerships should be formed before approaching joint opportunities, or if a suitable partner should be sought out only when an opportunity presents itself.

Presti said this session should not only provide some interesting debate, but should also supply partners with a better sense of “what is involved in building these alliances, and the extent to which their own organizations can benefit by it, or are positioned to do so effectively.”

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