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Managing a global alliance program presents new sets of challenges.
You need enough structure to keep everything running smoothly while still offering partners enough flexibility to accommodate their unique needs.
To succeed, your operating model needs to be “globally defined, regionally aligned.”
In fact, that’s the mantra at ServiceNow, where our latest guest, Dan Gallivan, is Vice President, ISV and Technology Alliances — Global Alliances & Channel Ecosystem.
In this episode, we discuss:
The 2 foundational components of every successful partner program
How to overcome regional and cultural barriers when partnering internationally
Why success in building joint solutions requires stepping out of the enterprise-customer paradigm
The Foundational Components of Every Successful Partner Program
Before you can create any partner program and expect some level of success, you need to set up its foundation. For Gallivan, the two components he sees as crucial are a structured partner management system and a partner operating model. While both may sound like common sense, often there is not enough emphasis placed on building these components out. Then on top of that foundation is when you can build out the unique solutions to drive interest from both customers and partners. With a TAM of $165 billion dollars, it’s clear that ServiceNow has developed a winning formula for success.
Having a strong foundation isn’t enough to sustain growth, however. Gallivan strives to show partners where the white space is in their TAM, which is why they developed what they call the App and Solutions Monetization Framework. This gives partners insight by industry on where they should focus their efforts and have the biggest customer impact.
Overcoming Regional and Cultural Barriers in International Partnerships
Creating a partner program isn’t just a “one size fits all” solution, especially at a global scale. At ServiceNow, the mantra is “globally defined, regionally aligned,” meaning that overall roles within the organization are standardized around the world, but there is flexibility and room for adjustment in strategy based on the needs of the specific market.
Understanding cultural differences across markets comes into play with ServiceNow’s marketing efforts as well, where knowledge about what works in a particular region is vital for reaching out to potential partners. Additionally, with a global perspective, ServiceNow highlights emerging markets as another key way for partners to differentiate themselves.
Stepping out of the Enterprise-Customer Paradigm
Building joint solutions that work with your partners can be very difficult, especially for enterprise software companies selling through other enterprise companies. This is because the focus is solely on the customer and not the partner. At ServiceNow, Gallivan and his team have developed go-to-market kits for partners which outline the benefits of partnering, with meaningful metrics like the TAM by industry and average deal sizes. Ultimately, they aim to help partners understand what a 3-year business plan would look like.
Once partners see the opportunity, they will identify the resources they need and gaps between where they are now and offering the solution. Gallivan and his team aim to make it as easy as possible for partners to get up to speed and ready to go to market by developing as much of the intellectual property as they can for partners. This cuts what may be a 13 month process down to just 90 days, allowing solutions to be activated much quicker that drives value for both partners.
To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by: