The importance of building vendor-partner alliances in 2022

We talked recently about the rise of the partner ecosystem, and how the channel has expanded in terms of the technology, strategic, and business alliances as well as the non-transactional influencer roles that partners play.

Following on from that, one of the ways in which the partner ecosystem is evolving is in the relationship between vendor and partner. We are seeing vendors making an effort to align themselves more closely with their partners’ businesses and, importantly, driving home the idea of trust in the relationship.

The reasons for this seem obvious. Not only is the vendor landscape a competitive one when it comes to securing partner mindshare, but vendors are now releasing that they win more customer business when both parties are better aligned.

One vendor that is working to build closer relationships is Dell in the UK. At the recent Dell UK Partner Summit, CCS Media won the vendor’s midmarket partner of the year. At the event, CCS managing director James Hardy told Nuzoo that previous methods of engagement between partners and vendors are now too narrow, and no longer work.

Now, he said, “it has to be multifaceted with technology teams aligned, leadership teams aligned, sales management teams aligned across the board. So you end up with this ecosystem of a partnership. That’s the only way it works.”

This, he said, is how CCS’ relationship with Dell is progressing. But how easy is that when the vendor is a tech giant like Dell?

“One of the toughest parts of being the Dell is we’ve got 1000 salespeople in the UK, [CCS Media has] 300 salespeople. None of them knew each other. The reality is all about getting [them] to know each other,” explained Rob Tomlin, VP UK channel at Dell.

“So it’s matching the guy who looks after the Bradford area with the guy who at Dell who looks after the Bradford area and then getting them to work together on a daily basis. And then you rinse and repeat. Because of Dell’s scale, were an amazing asset to work with when you get it right, it but it takes it takes time, it’s took us years [with the relationship with CCS Media]. But when it gets going, the momentum is pretty immense.”

As always, trust is key.

“There needs to be trust at every level,” said James. “It’s no use me and Rob having it if the trust isn’t there in the frontline of the business. And that can be diminished in seconds and it takes years to build and that’s what we’ve work hard at.”

And despite the huge changes we’ve seen in the channel in the past couple of years, it remains a fact that people buy from people.

“You can spend your life getting really preoccupied [with whether] this or that vendor may take our business – people buy from people, and the end user sees the value of CCS Media. We’ve layered lots and lots of services and lots of solutions into our company. That also builds confidence because we know the value that we hold for these customers. It’s not just the transactional relationship. And that’s important.

For CCS Media, the midmarket holds plenty of opportunity. “These organisations are transforming digitally they’re redesigning the experience for their workforce,” he said. “They were under indexed significantly on remote access and the digital experience inside the premises before the pandemic. So that’s a massive opportunity that we’ve been capitalising on and we’re going to continue to work with those customers on that journey.”

Also, apologies for the lateness of the blog this week! We’d like to blame the heat. Stay cool everyone, until next time.

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