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Ecosystem Cloud Summit June 2020 Roundup

Chip Rodgers

Hi! Chip Rodgers here with your Ecosystem Cloud Summit, June 2020 edition roundup. Over 150 ecosystem professionals joined us on June 25th to learn, share, and connect.

I’d like to start by thanking all of our terrific panel members -- each are senior leaders driving partner ecosystem programs for their companies during an unprecedented time. We heard a few themes come up across all of the panels, including:

  • Innovation requirements are accelerating and time to market is key
  • Multi-partner engagements are becoming the new norm and need to managed
  • Co-innovation helps deliver differentiated and complete solutions, but can be complex

There were so many great takeaways during the summit that it’s impossible to include everything, but we’re sharing our roundup of panels and poll responses so you can dive deeper into the topics that matter most to you. Scroll down for an overview of each panel with video clips followed by the very interesting poll results!

Orchestrating Innovation Ecosystems  

with Harmeet Chauhan, SVP Engineering Services; Executive Committee Member, Wipro

Watch the discussion with Harmeet.

Harmeet spoke about how the need for digital transformation is accelerating [with Covid], resulting in greater need for complete solutions and faster speed to market. He also provided great insight into how Wipro uniquely helps their customers address these needs and how Wipro and WorkSpan have doubled down on these capabilities with the newly launched EcosystemNXT offering.

Wipro’s #EcosystemNXT is a joint offering from Wipro and WorkSpan to help our customers innovate, develop, certify, launch and monetize joint solutions with their ecosystem partners across technology, telecom, industrial, other verticals with trust, governance and agility.

Key takeaways from Harmeet

  • The need for innovation is driving non-tech companies to become tech companies.
  • Digital Product Development, 5G, IoT, Industry 4.0, security are all cross-industry plays requiring agile ecosystem collaboration between multiple partners.
  • Technology can cut time to market in the co-innovation process.  Collaboration platforms like WorkSpan can bring together multiple partners to build trust and “extend beyond the contract”.
  • Harmeet’s four dimensions to keep in mind as you work with ecosystem partners: Trust, governance, accountability, agility.

Next Generation Ecosystems with an Integration-First Strategy

with Stefan Sigg, Chief Product Officer, Software AG

Jason Johns, Senior Vice President, Global Alliances & Channels, Software AG

Watch the discussion with Stefan and Jason.

Software AG is both a Workspan customer and a partner, with several zero-code bi-directional integrations for WorkSpan available on This lets WorkSpan users connect to other platforms (like CRM) to share data back and forth. We were thrilled to have Stefan and Jason join us to talk data, integrations, partner collaboration, and how “ecosystems are going to be our growth engine going forward”.

  • Stefan talked about data as “the glue that brings companies together” and there is a need to provide secure, scalable, and standardized data sharing.
  • Jason shared that “Innovation is driven around collaboration, and we need tools that help us collaborate especially for multi-partner engagements.”
  • Sharing data with partners is critical but challenging to execute. If you can leverage common tools and connect them between partners, this helps make the data actionable.

Driving Market-Leading Industry Solutions with Ecosystem Partners; COVID-19 Impact on Sector Priorities

Karl Kesselring, VP | COO & Global Head of Ecosystems, SAP Practice, NTT DATA

Watch the discussion with Karl.

Karl brought some fantastic insights about how NTT Data works with different types of partners to drive digital transformation.

  • NTT Data’s current focus is on helping customers through the crisis; dynamic workplace, cloud/digital transformation, and security are priorities. Innovation is key to delivering these priorities, and their partner ecosystem is a critical component to innovation.
  • In recent years it has become a “busy and complex marketplace” - an underlying collaboration platform can help facilitate and drive collaboration forward in multiple ways.
  • Having a comprehensive infrastructure of ecosystem partners enables you to respond to client requests in a dynamic way and get as close as possible to their “ideal scenario”.

Design Wars: Accelerating Revenue By Differentiating Offerings with Ecosystem

Keith Prince, Managing Director - Global Market Development, Dell Technologies

Watch the discussion with Keith.

Keith talked about how co-innovation leads to differentiation in the market, and shared some learnings on how Dell manages and measures(!) their partnerships. Check out Keith’s full session for some excellent best practices on how they have turned an art form into a science!

  • Prioritize plans that focus on driving incremental value & revenue where the partner can bring “joint sweat equity”.
  • Reporting is key - you need to be able to track the results of co-innovation efforts, which typically requires triangulation between lots of data sources and isn’t scalable. You need a single lens on one common platform.
  • Keith’s guidance is to engage with your internal stakeholders first to build trust - your first customer is your internal team!

ECS Audience Poll responses

We ran a few short polls during the virtual summit and wanted to share some of the really interesting results with you. We hear a lot of these challenges and success factors on a daily basis, and many of them are why WorkSpan was developed! Reach out to us to learn more and see how we might be able to help.

  • What’s your role and what type of partner program do you manage?
    At 41%, most attendees lead one or more partnerships with 27% leading the entire partner organization.  Coming in at 59%, most attendees manage co-sell programs with channel sales coming in second at 44%.
  • As we come out of the Covid crisis, what do you think the next chapter will be for the partner ecosystem?
    Tied with 65% of responses were “Digitization will continue to play a role and “Partner ecosystems will be even more critical to drive revenue”
  • How is your company leveraging Ecosystems innovation?
    75% responded with “Solution innovation with partner” followed closely by “Partnering to enter new markets (geos, industries, expertise)” at 60%
  • For your next generation of partner ecosystems, what are your top program priorities?
    Of course “Grow revenue through partner ecosystem” was the top answer at 86%, but then followed up with “track joint opportunities and pipeline” and then “partner experience”
  • What challenges do you have bringing multiple partners together?
    75% responded with “Aligning different priorities and goals across different partners”, 54% aligning partners view of opportunities, 46% managing, tracking, and sharing status updates between partners
  • What are the key success factors you are using to accelerate deals/revenue for your programs?
    85% indicated you are “creating differentiated offerings” and 75% responded “building trust relationships with partners to handle inevitable bumps” and finally “choosing the right partners” was also really important.

Thanks for your feedback on what you would like to see in the next Ecosystem Cloud Summit-  “sharing best practices on specific programs” was the top choice.

Wrapping up our roundup are some inspiring words from one of our panelists:

“Our approach is to help our clients and the broader society to address the challenges at hand. Staying positive and always seeing the glass as half-full, we believe we will get through this crisis and resurface in a stronger way.”
-Karl Kesselring, VP | COO & Global Head of Ecosystems, SAP Practice, NTT DATA

See you at the next Ecosystem Cloud Summit in September!

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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