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Over the years, managing alliances has evolved.
But many of the key insights from older models sill bear fruit when it comes to today’s cloud-based alliance programs.
Our guest today, Christine Puccio, VP of Global Cloud Alliances at F5 Networks, has had tremendous success in her 20+ years of experience managing partner programs.
And Christine shares some of her most valuable insights with us on our latest episode.
How her experiences gave her a de facto MBA in working with alliance partners
How public APIs are making delivering joint solutions simpler
Why aligning your own roadmap to your partners’ rewards everyone
An MBA in working with alliance partners
Christine is a veteran in the alliance space. She amassed a wealth of knowledge leading alliance programs at Sun Microsystems, Red Hat and Nginx, prior to their acquisition by — and her move to — F5 Networks.
Her experience has taught her several lessons on the best approaches to alliance programs.
At Sun Microsystems, she worked in market development with a handful of ISVs. She was there for the introduction of Linux into the market while she was working with these partners and she learned a framework of how to build with, and sell with, alliances.
“I always say that my I received my MBA in how to work with alliance partners at Sun.” — Christine Puccio
At Sun, engineering, market development, partner management and program management were all under one umbrella — a framework that Christine really enjoyed.
She then built upon this framework through her work with SAP, which had a very structured way in how it worked with sales and marketing — something she weaves into her work today.
In the cloud world, APIs make developing joint solutions simpler
Once Christine moved to Red Hat, having been tapped to build their SAP business underneath sales, she learned an approach that has held value into modern cloud-based ecosystems.
By having alliances be under sales, her job was more distributed. She was working with product teams and sales teams, but not all under the same umbrella. This taught her valuable lessons on monetization and how to measure with revenue results.
And these skills were easy to build upon in her current role.
For Christine, the move to a cloud-based model really rounded out the insights she had accumulated in the older OEM model. In fact, Christine looks at cloud service providers as the new OEMs — a new way of consuming software as a service.
With the advent of public APIs and plug-and-play components, developing joint solutions in our modern cloud world has become much simpler.
Of course, it’s vital to understand where your joint customers are in their solution roadmap in order to align a joint solution to your customer’s needs.
Aligning partner team goals to your company’s corporate objectives
In any alliance, proper alignment will always be one of the primary contributors to success.
So, it's important to look at your partners’ programs and familiarize yourself with where they are at and how you can work with them and the solutions they are providing. And this boils down to knowing your own product roadmap well enough to map onto the roadmaps of your alliances.
One thing Christine has learned through her success and experience is that bringing in your product management team early is a great way to be a part of the roadmap.
This is something Christine says we too often miss. A lot of the time, we get an idea, try to concept and then throw it over. But the product teams have a set roadmap — and being plugged into that is paramount.
So, instead of building some one-off thing, stick close to your product team. This makes it easier to build directly to the roadmap and, ultimately, better chances of becoming a standard product — which, of course, helps your partner, too.
To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by: