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4 SaaS Channel Takeaways from SaaS Connect

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… two guilty individuals are arrested. It shows why two completely rational individuals are best served by not cooperating. Channel sales are often held back from their full potential by rational individuals when the vendor and the partner don’t cooperate in sharing sales and customer data. Crossbeam serves as an escrow service for data, allowing the vendor and the partner to find overlapping customers and prospects, while keeping the rest of their data private and secure.

Fulfillment through the channel is still a major challenge for SaaS, one that multiple channel technology start-ups are working to solve. One example is AppBind, a SaaS startup founded by Sunir Shah. AppBind offers a way for agencies to seamlessly buy and manage multiple SaaS offerings on behalf of their clients. With AppBind, they can add a mark-up and provide a single bill to their clients that includes the SaaS subscriptions and their own services.

4. The channel AI opportunity Is enormous. There is a massive opportunity for SaaS vendors, system integrators, and other channel partners to build artificial intelligence into their SaaS offerings. Google is taking a partner-first strategy with its AI platform. Naresh Venkat, head of Machine Learning and AI Partnerships at Google, presented a view of the future where AI will be part of every SaaS solution. Venkat made the point that APIs are democratizing AI. That certainly seems true given the ease in which partners can have access to AI from Google Cloud, Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and many other vendors.

I believe AI and RPA (robotic process automation) will soon dramatically transform channel management. It requires a whole new way of thinking. It’s not about automating current processes but eliminating inefficient processes that developed from old ways of thinking and limitations of technology.

I can’t wait to see what comes next, and I can’t wait to see you at next year’s SaaS Connect.

Rob Spee is founder and CEO of Channel Journeys Consulting and host of the Channel Journeys podcast. Rob applies his channel expertise to help clients create and execute channel strategies to accelerate revenue growth. His global channel experience spans from building channels at start-ups to vendors and distributors such as Arrow, BMC, Carbonite and SAS. Follow Rob @ChannelJourneys on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

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