There is a high chance that you have heard of the term ‘Partner Ecosystems’ in recent times. And why not? It is trending at team meetings, boardrooms, and annual conventions. Business forecasts state that companies will gain in terms of global sales through such Partner Ecosystems within the next two years. Partner Ecosystems are hailed as the next big thing in global business networks.
Simply put, companies today often collaborate with other companies to remain viable in the changing markets. Moreover, a firm can tap into new markets and specialized expertise through such partnerships. The partner ecosystem platform facilitates such interactions in the most uninhibited manner. You will read more about the same here.
Comprehending Partner Ecosystems
Just like the ecosystem in nature, the partner ecosystem is a network of cross-industry companies working collaboratively with one another. All companies are a part of such ecosystems, irrespective of whether they are into products or services. All the partnerships that you have created in the course of business comprise the ecosystem. Every partner brings a different set of expertise and strategic skills to the table.
There are various categories of ecosystems that a business works in daily. It eventually boils down to the brand and the customers you are catering to. In the course of business, there are ultimately three main types of ecosystems that revolve around distribution and logistics, marketing, and technology. If you deal with retailers, co-sellers, wholesalers, managed service providers, B2B companies, certification providers, listing sites, website developers, application developers, or influencers, you are in one such Partner Ecosystem. Most companies face challenges with partner ecosystem management. So, that is where technology enters the scene.
Companies can utilize partner ecosystem management to manage, track, and share common data between their channel partners. Such ecosystems are often very extensive and can be difficult to manage. The vendor management system, which exhibits the same properties, is crucial to streamlining workflows and discovering new partnership opportunities. Know more about A Definitive Guide to Lean Management.
Benefits Of Partner Ecosystems
Let’s find out the benefits of embracing a partner ecosystem platform for business.
Access To New Untapped Markets
This is one of the first benefits that your company will gain. It allows you to reach new customer segments and markets. It may be geographically or offering-based.
Enhanced Customer Base
This is the second advantage of such an ecosystem, where you get to leverage the customer base of your partners. This exposes your brand in front of a wider audience.
Better Product Offerings
When you join hands with a channel partner in the ecosystem, both complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. You can create more in-depth solutions for your customers by integrating your products and services with those of your partner. This enhances the user experience, and you can gain a foothold in competitive spaces.
Tap Into Specialised Expertise
When you collaborate with partners, you gain knowledge, tools, and resources. You can take advantage of the same without direct expenses from your business funds. Such collaborations can eventually lead to previously unheard-of new product or service offerings.
Such partners are the stakeholders of your business, along with investors and employees. When you collaborate strategically, you gain in terms of trust and loyalty. It goes without saying that nurturing an existing partnership in business is more crucial and profitable than making new ones.
When you partner with other vendors for your business, you share the risks associated with the new products or services. This can reduce the losses, if any, in the future. This is more apt for start-ups and smaller organizations.
Obstacles In The Path Of Building Such Ecosystems
There are a few common obstacles that businesses have to face while forming such partnerships that can benefit the business. By understanding the challenges, you can develop strategies to build a full potential ecosystem of partners with common objectives.
- Recruitment of the right partners is the first challenge that any business faces today. The objectives of the said partners must match with your company’s goals.
- Defining the priorities of your business and aligning those with the partners requires ongoing effort. This can be considered a challenge.
- Managing sales engagement between participating partners can be challenging.
- Establishing a common technology to operate from can cause disagreements.
- Managing the costs of such partnerships, along with the calculation of ROI, can prove to be a hindrance.
- Building trust among all the partners is also another challenge. Trust is more ambiguous in nature than other measurable parameters, which takes time to build. You have to see to it that the partnerships are profitable for both parties.
- Managing competition and collaboration is also essential. There may be new competitors entering the market from time to time. It also entails successful sales management to get the best out of the partnership.
Thus, proper partner ecosystem management is as important as forming the partnership in the first place.
Best Practices For Establishing Dynamic Networks Of Collaboration
You require careful planning and ongoing strategic monitoring to make the partnership ecosystem successful.
Aligning Goals And Identifying The Partners
This is extremely important to create a strong partnership ecosystem. Apart from finding the right partners, you have to study their goals and objectives. You must spend some time researching potential partners’ presence and reputation in the market.
Evaluation Of Partners
In order to make it a success, you need to evaluate and monitor the partners. This will ensure that there are no surprises at the end of the financial year. Metrics establishment has considerable importance here.
Developing Proper Communication Channels
If you want the partnership to flourish, then it is absolutely critical to develop effective communication and collaboration channels. You can utilize project management tools file sharing tools, and also engage in regular meetings to foster trust.
Supporting Each Other
Partnership, regardless of its nature, can only thrive where both partners get adequate advantages. So, it is important for a business to strategize for the ongoing development of both firm’s employees, which can lead to bigger returns. An incentive partner program can also help drive motivation.
Partner ecosystem management is proving to be a successful determinant for many companies. It helps keep operations as per schedule while maintaining transparency.
If you want to adopt a new-age vendor management system, ProHance can help you. It is one of the best partner ecosystem platforms that offers assistance in building and managing a successful partner ecosystem. It facilitates partner discovery, collaboration, sharing of expertise, and performance management. You will also benefit from its advanced data analytics and performance management modules. ProHance can be integrated with your existing software as well.