…getting the original deal, but also being able to burn down what you sold,” Rauch said.
Check Point, which sells 100% through partners, uses its channel to the effect of having five times the resources of its internal sales organization, according to Rauch. “So basically, you may be selling deals, but literally they’re in there, day in and day out, operationalizing what you sold,” he said. “And if you don’t get that consumption, then obviously you’re going to fail and you’re not going to be able to renew in a year, two years or whatever. And you’re not going to be able to land, expand, renew.”
Vendors still need to improve how they communicate the importance of customer experience and the risks partners face of holding on to the old model of taking a transactional approach to deals,” said 360inisghts’ Kellam. “Because if they think of a sale as the end, they’re done,” he said.
It also means broadening who they consider a partner. Oftentimes, that means having a less traditional or constrained view on what constitutes a critical partner, Hitachi’s King noted, pointing to the company’s recently announced partnership with Disney. “Think about that: Traditionally, you wouldn’t think Disney would be a partner, but they are, and they’re a very significant analytics partner with us,” she said.
The partner landscape for Check Point is also bringing in new players. For example, in health care, Check Point increasingly is partnering with companies that make medical devices. “It’s definitely changing,” Rauch said. At the same time, he underscored that adapting to those changes doesn’t mean forsaking traditional sources of customer and revenue growth. “It’s all about balance. You still need to be able to perform while you transform, don’t get rid of the legacy, evolve the legacy and acquire the new,” he said.
Given the shifts to cloud computing and increasingly to modern cloud-native software, Check Point has also broadened the types of partners in terms of their technical competency that it has added into its ecosystem, Rauch said. “When you look at the legacy of the security model, it was mostly pure-play type of security partners,” he said. “Now it’s something totally different. It’s about being born in the cloud, where it is mobility and now it’s born in IoT and born in containers.”
Indeed, maintaining that balance is key. While transforming is critical, Belcher said for certain companies such as Xerox, it can’t come at the expense of revenues. “Being with a publicly traded company, we can’t take our foot off the gas,” she said. “What Frank [Rauch]said is accurate, that it’s a balance. In my case, we’re driving up software skills, software capabilities and competencies while we balance the other. You can’t just stop one and start the other because, at least for a publicly traded company, that won’t work.”