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Creating ecosystems is only part of the battle. Ensuring the commercial scalability and viability of these ecosystems is ultimately where the rubber meets the road.
In this episode, Manoj Bhatia, Director Partner Business Development at Verizon, comes back for his second appearance on Ecosystem Aces and explains the trends that are making Ecosystems more commercially viable.
How Verizon finds value in partnerships with both large and small companies.
How Verizon has learned to scale better and faster from their partnership with Microsoft.
How the growing acceptance of “coopetition” has helped the viability of ecosystems.
Sizing Up Partnerships
Finding the most value in your partnerships means putting your partners in the best positions to succeed. Verizon does this by finding projects that accommodate the size of their partners. For growth initiatives, the company works with large companies like Microsoft and Cisco who are able to scale for large projects. But at the same time, to keep a pipeline of fresh ideas, Verizon works with small technology startups that have innovative ideas that can bring real value to customers.
While Verizon partners with both large companies and startups, when it comes to disruptive technologies like 5G and IoT, Verizon partners with companies of all sizes - based on niche capabilities, industry specialities, geographic presence, and more. Manoj credits WorkSpan for giving a platform for these large partner networks, which are integral in the production of these more complex technologies.
Scaling Faster with Partner Platforms
Spreadsheets just won’t cut it. Alliance management and effective co-selling cannot be done without a proper platform. Manoj sees the advantages of Microsoft’s Partner Center and WorkSpan allowing for productive collaboration between the two or more companies in “P2P” sales motions. By tracking and aligning data, as well as giving the ability to customize each joint opportunity, partner platforms make it easier for two or several companies to collaborate and co-sell together effectively.
Verizon and Microsoft use their partner platforms to rapidly align with each other and maximise their co-sell opportunities. This collaboration is integral because Manoj emphasizes that effective co-selling is not putting two separate offerings together but instead truly cooperating on a solution. Microsoft’s software offering relies on Verizon’s network offering and vice versa.
Manoj believes that the agility that a partner platform provides for alliances and co-selling has greatly benefitted the commercial viability of ecosystems in a hyper competitive landscape.
Growth In Attitudes and “Coopetition”
You can’t do everything by yourself. Partnering is now integral in the way a company maximises their growth and success. Manoj has seen a tremendous growth in the willingness of companies to partner with each other. This growth is not just because of a change in attitudes but also because of the development of new tools and frameworks that make it easier for effective partnership.
What’s even more inspiring is the growing trend of coopetition -- companies partnering with competitors. Manoj has seen a maturity in companies and how they have grown more to understand the win-win proposition of co-selling. This has led to companies to be more receptive to partnering with multiple companies even if there is an overlap in offerings.
To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by: