Channeliser highlights the danger of limiting yourself to ‘who you know’ when partnering with other IT companies
In business, they say, it’s not what you know. It’s who you know. That may be good for personal advancement, but it is no longer true for IT companies in this fast moving industry. Limiting yourself to who you know can restrict the possibilities of finding new and innovative technologies. Yet, according to recent research from Channeliser, that’s exactly the approach many IT companies are still taking.
We live in an increasingly interconnected world. Today’s business success is about collaboration and co-operation as much as competition. The Channeliser IT Partnership Survey 2017 set out to examine the current state of partnering within the IT industry and to identify the key challenges companies face with ‘partnering’.
Channeliser was set up to enable IT companies to quickly and easily locate and engage with potential partners anywhere in the world. It combines advanced search, partner engagement and community features to create an end-to-end solution for IT companies looking to partner.
IT companies want new partners. But how to find them?
The top-level results were, perhaps, as one would have expected. Of those surveyed, 85% were looking to work with new partners within the next two years. For 60% of respondents, that timescale was sooner, in under six months.
The issues really started when Channeliser looked at how IT companies went about identifying and recruiting new partners.
Within both the IT vendor and IT reseller communities the results were remarkably similar. In both cases, the primary approaches were to use their own existing business networks and word of mouth.
The survey also found that trust was by far the most important factor for respondents when it came to building partner-to-partner relationships. So, staying within your own tried and tested communities may seem like a natural approach. However, for companies that need agility and flexibility to seize new market opportunities, it is potentially limiting.
The basic reason for modern partnerships is to build out capabilities – whether new technical skills, complementary solutions, new market experience or geographical reach. It is clear that, in many of those cases, a reseller’s own network can easily become an echo chamber populated by companies with very similar experiences and contacts.
IT companies begin to look beyond the vendor portal
IT companies need a way to quickly and cost-effectively locate and engage with partners. IT resellers responded that many of their customer requirements necessitate that they partner with complementary companies to provide the total solution.
The survey highlighted that most vendor portals are failing to meet this challenge as they are old fashioned, with only 20% of vendors reporting that they were completely satisfied with the capabilities of their portals. It was also noted that proprietary portals do not provide an independent view of all the solutions available within a global IT industry.
It is this need for an independent online IT community that led to the development of Channeliser to enable IT companies to connect, engage and partner with complementary companies wherever they are in the world.
The need for collaboration is being driven by customer demand for an expanded range of products and solutions. In all, 82% of customers said they regularly had to expand their solution capability to match customer demand. One in three has to do this for almost every engagement.
The way most companies expand their capabilities is through collaboration with complementary organisations. Less than 10% of respondents said that they never worked with other companies on customer engagements compared to one in five who said it was a common occurrence.
After more than 25 years in the IT industry apiece, including more than 10 years at Microsoft where they met, founders Anne Lambton and Jacqui Rand launched Channeliser to solve the hardest challenge in the IT industry – finding and engaging with other IT companies to bring complex collaborative solutions to today’s demanding customer.
Channeliser does this by providing a business-to-business professional network where clever matching and precision search drastically cut the time needed to find ‘right-ft’ IT companies. It also supports company-to-company connections and corporate social content, enabling businesses to take back control of their social content so that when someone leaves they don’t take that corporate social history and connections with them.
Channeliser was founded in November 2014, beta launched ‘Search’ in the Summer of 2015 and followed that up with the press launch of combined ‘Search’ and ‘Social’ last summer, when it was described as “the LinkedIn of the IT industry” and “the eHarmony for Tech”. It currently has members in 70 countries and plans to extend its reach further to serve a global IT sector of more than 500,000 companies that can no longer work in isolation, but need to form lasting business partnerships.