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Ecosystem Business Summit October 2022 Roundup

Chip Rodgers

Last week's Ecosystem Business Summit was engaging and impactful, with over 800 registrants and hundreds of ecosystem professionals joining the live event!

Our discussions dug into the AWS ecosystem, strategic co-selling, and the latest partnerships trends with featured partnerships leaders:

  • Amit Sinha, WorkSpan
  • Nick Holden, Cisco
  • Akbar Hasan, Cisco
  • Nelson Bostrom, AWS
  • Derek Prenner,  OwnBackup
  • Barlas Yuce, Yellowbrick.

We've curated the event's highlights and audience poll responses. Keep reading to dive deeper into the topics that matter most to you!

Here’s the Event Roundup!

We’ve curated the event’s panel highlights and poll responses. Read on to dive deeper into the topics that matter most to you!

amit panel

Chief Partner Officers are Driving Significant Impact


A new title has hit the business world - Chief Partner Officer.  With partnership professionals moving into senior leadership roles, companies are experiencing unprecedented partnership sales growth rates:

  • more than 20% revenue growth
  • up to 30% increase in win rates
  • up to 20x ROI, and 3x market expansion

With a designated leader at the forefront of your company’s partnership ecosystem, their commitment to driving results and growth through partnerships is an incredible value add.

Importance of Digitization in Managing Co-Sell Collaboration


Organizations that lack internal structures, mechanisms, and policies to govern their ecosystem involvement are prone to failure. By implementing partnerships infrastructure, and investing in digitization, we can mitigate the likelihood of failure, optimize processes, and increase the success factor!

Digitization has the potential to:

  • Increase the efficiency of tools
  • Correct and streamline disjointed processes
  • Fix the issue of inconsistent data
  • Reverse inward-oriented culture and mindset

Not to jump ahead, but the famous phrase from our featured speaker Nick Holden comes to mind: “Digitize to Legitimize”!

Ecosystem as the Flywheel of Revenue


Instead of the traditional linear channel-to-channel supply chain, ecosystems operate as circular flywheels. The ecosystem flywheel includes co-selling, co-marketing, co-innovating, and co-funding.  While most companies start with co-selling and co-marketing, these two partnership fundamentals can grow and create momentum, leading into opportunities to co-innovate through product teams, and co-fund, with all flywheel processes ultimately interacting with one another for success.

Cloud Ecosystem Best Practices & Key Capabilities for Ecosystem Management


To realize partner goals, partner leaders should secure the following key components of a program in order to determine partners' investments and define roles and responsibilities amongst their teams:

  • An ecosystem business process
  • A data hub
  • Access controls
  • An ecosystem intelligence workflows

Within the co-selling process, companies must manage the customer lifecycle and not just the partner lifecycle. By establishing standard metrics to influence splits, leaders can make co-selling motions repeatable with joint solutions. And, most importantly, this is the era of the ecosystem! Be ready to engage in multi-partner co-selling as your ecosystem grows and flourishes.

cisco panel

Digitize to Legitimize


Cisco is not new in the partnerships ecosystem, or to co-selling.  Using a co-sell motion with complementary companies empowers Cisco to extend its value proposition, deepen customer engagement, and generate more revenue opportunities.  They’ve built stronger solutions for customers through partnership integrations and by creating joint architectures, particularly with ISVs.

A massive factor in their continued partnership ecosystem growth, Cisco recognizes the inherent need to digitize their strategies to legitimize their influence among partners. Formalizing co-sell motion through digital tools allows companies to track, validate, and integrate sales teams, thus, adding value to the entire sales process.

“Digitize to legitimize. We've got to analyze the growth so that we can scale it and make sure that we're driving the right benefits to the right partners and investing in the right partners.”
~ Akbar Hasan

Multi-Partner Co-Selling and Enablement


In a co-sell ecosystem, it's imperative to look at the flywheel from the partner's perspective. This includes management and margin acceleration, so companies can help their partners and provide them with more revenue opportunities.

Companies can generally categorize their customers into three groups:

  1. Line of business
  2. App modernization
  3. IT

The key to selling higher and wider across the ecosystem, is to connect with partners interacting with each key group. This can trigger multiple relationships within the ecosystem amongst differing revenue opportunities.

An effective ecosystem boils down to empowering partners to create their set of capabilities, explore their combined values, generate collaborative sales, and drive their own business outcomes. The secret to achieving these goals is to have a technology that makes all of these processes as simple as possible and effectively sharing the information amongst the partners.

aws panel

Key Technologies, Best Practices, and Trends in AWS Partnerships

To ensure the most successful AWS relationship, a company should have:

  • A designated Cloud Alliance Director
  • Engagement with sellers
  • Identified their unique competitive advantage
  • A solution that can update you and your partners in real time

Hiring an operations team can temporarily manage the workflow of partnership operations and communications, but partnership technology solutions like WorkSpan make these workflows seamless.

"Better Together" - Co-Sell with AWS Today


AWS is focused on producing solutions that enable end customers to achieve their goals. Thus, finding the right partner is essential to strengthen end-customer trust. Before sharing deals, AWS ensures that all partners understand their joint value proposition. The Amazon team then helps pick up opportunities and engagements to determine how they can help their partners.

“We're focused on solutions that enable end-customers to achieve their goals better. That's what the Amazon account managers will need to bring to their end-customer trust since it's hard to build but easy to break”
~ Nelson Bostrom

Full-Scale Partnership: Goals, Metrics, Enablement and Overall Planning

Wipro’s Ecosystem Partnership Transformation

OwnBackup has transitioned from a vendor-only relationship into a full-scale relationship with AWS – working with co-selling, co-marketing, and co-innovation strategies. As companies grow within the APN, there are different incentive-based co-sell programs ISVs can take advantage of based on their product type.

For partnership success, companies need to bring legitimate deals to the table, sellers need clear directions to take, and both companies must have a mindset to adhere to each other's metrics. An automation solution like WorkSpan enables companies to achieve the scale of growth they are projecting and allow for real time updates to be made for all partners.

With all of the above said, the number one goal still remains: To be the easiest partner to work with. In partnerships, once that is achieved, everything else will follow!

“Companies working on an ecosystem can hire as many people as they want to implement their business process, but everything is just better with automation like WorkSpan.”
~ Derek Prenner

During the summit, we ran a few short polls. Have a look at the interesting results!

ebs oct polls

A gigantic thank you to all of those who attended our Live Ecosystem Business Summit and to our speakers! The world of Ecosystem Partnerships is constantly evolving and we will continue to bring you the most recent strategies and updates in the industry.

Have Questions?

If you have questions or want to chat with us about ecosystems, partnerships, and co-selling with AWS, don't hesitate to reach out.

We’d love to hear from you!

Thanks again for making EBS a success. We’ll see you at our next event!

Join fellow ecosystem professionals and join WorkSpan’s Community where we regularly share tips, news, and podcasts from across the partner ecosystem landscape.

Chief Partner Officer

About Chip Rodgers

Chip is passionate about building strong communities and ecosystems around enterprises to build excitement for the category, deliver value for customers, and grow the business. Prior to WorkSpan, Chip was with SAP for over 13 years, most recently growing the SAP Community Network to over 2 million engaged customers, partners, and developers. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago and an engineering degree from Northwestern.

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