In today’s climate, the need for businesses to streamline processes, leverage technology, and combine in-house expertise with partner expertise is essential. Rather than trying to be everything for everyone, it’s best to lean into your strengths and identify potential areas of weakness that presents the opportunity for partnerships.
A qualified partner provides you with a skill or service that your customers need to further their ability to be successful. Whether you’re responding to a specific challenge or request, adapting business operations, or simply looking to position your organization for future growth, selecting the right partners to help streamline service excellence is critical.
Connectria helps businesses realize their cloud vision with end-to-end hosting and managed services, from IBM i, AIX, and VMware systems as well as public cloud platforms like AWS and Azure. All of which is backed by our industry-leading SLAs and an award-winning, customer-centric culture. Connectria is the largest IBM i (AS/400) cloud provider and a recognized IBM business partner with demonstrated excellence driving business growth. Connectria has also become a leader in delivering end-to-end cloud migration and managed services as an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Advanced Consulting Partner and AWS Managed Services Provider.
Us > Them
Channel Partners are quickly becoming the backbone of Connectria’s growth roadmap – when we say Partner, we mean putting the “partner” in “partnership”. I have worked with IBM products and technology for over 30 years. I joined Connectria in 2019 supporting and working alongside our IBM Channel. In some instances, there are issues of “Channel Stacking” where a lack of mutually beneficial professional relationships can sometimes be par for the course rather than something more substantive.
While developing the Connectria Partner Program and our Channel, it’s been imperative that our Partners are truly a part of our ecosystem. For any Channel relationship to grow, partners must feel a sense of mutual benefit. Something that adds and doesn’t subtract; an equal partner if you will.
How We Do Right by You
So, how do we accomplish this?
First, we limit the number of partners that we have. Our channel strategy is predicated on carefully selecting partners through areas of expertise, geographic focuses, and thoughtful curation to avoid overlap with too many partners with similar skills or in similar concentrations. While some overlap is expected, we never pit partners against one another.
Second, we ensure that our partner relationships are mutually beneficial. We want our partners to be able to interact with one another, with the ultimate goal of achieving synergy. Connectria is also willing and able to engage our partners with our current and future customers.
Third, we ensure that our partners are fairly rewarded. We have options for both a Referral Program and Reseller Program. Our partners are not required to do all the heavy lifting and we ensure that their efforts are properly compensated. We also provide our partners with joint marketing offerings including press releases, WebEx opportunities, and co-branded collateral to further ensure our partners’ success.
Value In Value Out
If your partners see value in what you do for them, they are more likely to want to invite you to engage with trusted accounts and customers. It’s imperative to continuously communicate with and reach out to key partner contacts to discover what they need to be successful. Consistent communication and realignment help in establishing expectations and understanding what partners want from your relationship and ensuring your offerings meet their objectives and end goals.
Sometimes you will find that not all relationships are mutually beneficial and sometimes it’s ok to say “no”. The more clearly you communicate the better understanding. Here, it’s best to lead with complete transparency. This helps to avoid misleading a partner into a relationship that doesn’t help anyone. Connectria’s Partnership model is not a difficult model. Networking has, and always will be, one of the best ways to grow your customer base. A strong network is the basis of a robust channel strategy!
An Evolving Partner Strategy
Connectria is a prominent Hybrid Cloud Services leader with unique strength in delivering services to the IBMi/AIX community combined with expanding public cloud (AWS/Azure) services and support. We are continuing conversations with strategic partners to expand how Connectria delivers services no matter where their infrastructure resides.
Our support for partners has also evolved over the past few years. For example, direct assistance for application modernization was a service we had not previously offered. Now, Connectria has a selection of partners that can provide application modernization for our IBM i customers. Our partner relationships allow us to offer a holistic solution – a one-stop-shop – for organizations looking to modernize both the IT infrastructure and their applications.