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Understanding the Generative AI Partner Ecosystem


Gen AI represents a groundbreaking revolution reshaping industries and creating new business opportunities worldwide. With projected growth from $15.4 billion this year to a staggering $158.6 billion by 2028, as predicted by Canalys, the Gen AI ecosystem is brimming with potential for channel partners. 

McKinsey’s The economic potential of generative AI report predicts that Generative AI will have a significant impact across all industry sectors. Banking, high tech, and life sciences are among the industries that could see the biggest impact as a percentage of their revenues from generative AI.

Their analysis of 16 business functions identified just four—customer operations, marketing and sales, software engineering, and research and development—that could account for approximately 75 percent of the total annual value from generative AI use cases.

In this blog, we'll delve into the intricacies of this burgeoning ecosystem, emphasizing the pivotal role of partnerships in driving innovation, solutions, co-selling, and managing Gen AI solutions effectively.

Co-Sell Partnerships in Gen AI

Partnerships lie at the heart of successful Gen AI initiatives, enabling businesses to leverage complementary expertise, resources, and market reach to co-create and co-sell innovative solutions. Whether it's solutions, co-selling, or managing Gen AI, strategic alliances are crucial in driving collaboration, accelerating time-to-market, and maximizing the impact of AI-driven initiatives. 

By partnering effectively, organizations can harness the full potential of Gen AI to deliver tailored solutions that address specific customer needs and drive sustainable growth. Here are some of the recent examples of such collaborations in Gen AI space:

  • Microsoft and KPMG have formed a strategic alliance to leverage Microsoft’s Gen AI tools within KPMG's professional services, aiming to capitalize on a projected US$12 billion growth opportunity for KPMG. This collaboration will equip KPMG's 265,000 employees with Microsoft's AI products, empowering them to deliver more effective and strategic client services.
  • WPP, the world's largest advertising agency, has partnered with NVIDIA to develop a content engine harnessing Gen AI technology. This initiative aims to enhance WPP's creative teams' ability to produce digital content with greater speed and efficiency. Mark Read, CEO of WPP, emphasizes the competitive advantage gained through the partnership with NVIDIA's AI solution.
  • Wipro and Google Cloud have announced an expanded partnership to facilitate the integration of generative AI across Wipro's entire suite of services and capabilities. This collaboration seeks to leverage the power of AI to drive innovation and enhance the delivery of Wipro's services to its clients.

These partnerships are driven by a whole new set of use cases across various industries. McKinsey has tried to describe some of these across industries like Banking, Retail and Pharma. 

The Pivotal Role of Partnerships

Within the Gen AI ecosystem, different types of partners play distinct yet complementary roles in driving innovation and commercialization. From AI services to software development and advanced data analytics, each partner brings unique capabilities and expertise to the table:

  • Global Systems Integrators (GSIs), consulting firms, and niche AI consulting firms excel in providing AI advisory, change management, and implementation services, catering to large-scale, enterprise-level engagements.
  • Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), SaaS vendors, and development companies specialize in developing Gen AI software and applications tailored to specific industries, use cases, and business needs.
  • Boutique data and analytics firms, AI/ML agencies, and consultancies offer advanced data services, including data collection, integration, management, and optimization, to enable Gen AI-driven insights and solutions.
  • Value-added resellers (VARs), distributors, and managed service providers (MSPs) focus on reselling, co-selling, and upselling AI products, complemented by integration, implementation, and managed services offerings.

It is clear, no single entity possesses all the requisite resources, expertise, or market reach to fully capitalize on the opportunities presented by Gen AI. Strategic partnerships enable organizations to pool their strengths, complement each other's capabilities, and collectively navigate the complexities of developing and deploying AI-driven solutions. 

By forging strong and natural alliances with technology vendors, industry experts, and complementary service providers, businesses can access cutting-edge AI tools, tap into niche domain knowledge, and leverage established networks to accelerate time-to-market and drive competitive differentiation.

Challenges in Co-Selling Gen AI Solutions

Despite the immense opportunities Gen AI presents, co-selling solutions in this complex ecosystem come with their own challenges. With multiple partners involved, coordinating sales motions, aligning strategies, and managing dependencies can be a daunting task.

Moreover, differences in business models, target markets, and skill proficiencies may pose obstacles to seamless collaboration. 

Navigating these challenges requires clear communication, strategic planning, and a collaborative mindset to ensure mutual success.

The Role of WorkSpan in Managing Gen AI Partner Ecosystems

To streamline collaboration and manage the complexities of the Gen AI partner ecosystem, platforms like WorkSpan provide invaluable support. By offering tools for partner relationship management, joint business planning, and co-selling orchestration, WorkSpan enables organizations to effectively align strategies, track progress, and drive collaboration across partner networks. 

With WorkSpan, businesses can optimize their partner ecosystem, capitalize on market opportunities, and deliver innovative Gen AI solutions that drive tangible business outcomes.

Remember that the success of our endeavors in the Gen AI ecosystem hinges not just on the technology we wield but equally on the strength of the partnerships we nurture. Let's move forward with a collaborative mindset, embracing the complexities and opportunities that come our way to sculpt an innovative, inclusive, and immensely impactful future.

For a deeper understanding of how you can launch your own Gen AI co-sell programs and enlist your GSI, SI, ISV, MSP, Cloud and Reseller partners, Schedule a no-cost demo today!

Join WorkSpan’s Ecosystem Business Summit in May 2024 to delve into the transformative power of co-selling GenAI solutions. Gain invaluable insights into implementing advanced models and navigating complexities for boundless opportunities. Learn firsthand why collaborations between AI providers and ISVs are pivotal for GenAI success and how to seamlessly integrate your AI provider into your go-to-market strategy. Hear from industry pioneers about the critical role of co-selling in achieving market dominance. Don't miss this chance to unlock the true potential of GenAI collaboration.

Happy Partnering!

About WorkSpan

WorkSpan is the Category Leader for Ecosystem Cloud. With Ecosystem Cloud, our customers are capturing a disproportionate share of the Ecosystem Economy — and you can too. Join the WorkSpan network where alliance, channel, and ecosystem leaders connect, co-create, co-market, co-sell, measure, and scale with their ecosystem partners in a single, secure, cloud-based network growing business & abundance together.

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