No organization is an expert at everything. That would be impossible to foster and lacks scalability into the future. Though impossible, it begs the question: “how can your organization provide (and reap) the benefits of specialization across the board without expertise existing in every facet of the tech industry?” Partner ecosystems are the answer.
Partner Ecosystems Defined
Put simply, a partner ecosystem is a network of organizations that each uniquely benefit the network as a whole through their distinctive specialization. When an organization leverages the partner ecosystem they are part of, they are able to offer their customers heightened service and quality, while reaching new customers, through the compounding expertise within the ecosystem. It’s no wonder 84% of companies believe ecosystems to be an important aspect of their strategy.
There are different types of partnerships that commonly exist within partner ecosystems: technology partnerships (knowns as ISVs or Independent Software Vendors), channel partnerships, and strategic partnerships. Focusing on technology and channel partnerships:
- Technology partnerships allow a technology to add to its capabilities (such as plugins)
- Channel partnerships allow a company to resell or refer a partner company’s software for profit
Curating a Partner Ecosystem
Building a strategy that effectively leverages a partner ecosystem relies on your organization partnering with the right companies. To do so, you want to first identify gaps that currently exist in your model. Using an ideal customer profile (ICP), you can generate a list of companies that would be beneficial to potentially partner with. That could be based on future customers you would like your organization to have exposure to, enhanced capabilities you envision with your technology, or based on a particular need you have distributing your product.
Outside of potential partner companies you identify using your ICP, you also want to ensure you are building an ecosystem of partners that align with your core vision and values. Doing so will assure a more successful and harmonious partnership into the future.
The Benefits of Partnerships Are Astonishing
Though the ways you are able to heighten your customer satisfaction are certainly impressive, equally as impressive is the amplified reach you gain through partner ecosystems. In fact, a third of global sales are predicted to come from ecosystems by 2025, according to McKinsey & Company.
When you are involved in a partnership or alliance, you get to take part in the marketing efforts of your partners. As they market their business, your organization is also getting marketed to their audience, hence, the projected sales numbers stated previously. If you aren’t taking advantage of a partner ecosystem, you could be missing out on over 30% of future sales – precisely why establishing a strategic partner ecosystem now is so important.
Partner Ecosystems Are the Catalyst
The catalyst of your organization’s future success truly is a partner ecosystem – one that is carefully curated to suit your unique needs and further the vision you have for your brand. While the use of partner ecosystems may be a more recent strategic approach, the premise behind them has (and always will be) true: we’re better together. "No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it." – H.E. Luccock