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Ecosystem Leaders

Episode 128

October 11, 2021

#128 Vince Menzione: How Microsoft Optimizes Their Ecosystem

In this episode, Vince Menzione, Founder of Ultimate Partnerships, joins Ecosystem Aces and shares his thoughts on the evolving ecosystem landscape.

A true partnering veteran, Vince spent 9 years building Microsoft’s partner sales and strategy. Now, as the founder of Ultimate Partnerships, Vince helps organizations optimize their ecosystem and make the most out of their partnerships.

In this episode, Vince Menzione, Founder of Ultimate Partnerships, joins Ecosystem Aces and shares his thoughts on the evolving ecosystem landscape.

Vince discusses:

  • How Microsoft gets the most out of their partners
  • Three partnering metrics better than influence revenue
  • Why every company needs to become partner-focused

Microsoft’s Ecosystem Strategy

Boasting more than four hundred thousand partners, Microsoft is a leader in being a partner-led company. But how exactly do they use their ecosystem?

Microsoft solutions support many different industries and the company wants to create scalable best-of-breed solutions for each of these customer bases. To do this, the company forms partner ecosystems that support each industry as well.

The Microsoft brand helps attract customers but the company can’t afford to have high-level expertise on every single vertical. So to help with the customer-facing conversations, Microsoft looks to their industry ecosystems. For example, Microsoft might not know exactly how an offering benefits medical clinics but their health care ecosystem will fill in the gaps.

If your company is looking to partner with Microsoft, Vince says that you have to understand this specific ecosystem strategy. Many companies struggle to align with tech giants like Microsoft because they don’t understand that their value comes from their industry and customer expertise.

Three Metrics Better Than Influence Revenue

Influence revenue won’t cut it. It’s too vague and you aren’t able to quantify the level your partner actually contributed to the revenue. So how can you measure the success of your partnerships? Vince uses three different metrics.

First, Vince measures deal velocity. Are your partners helping deals get done at a faster rate? Compare the time it takes for a company to close a deal with a given partner with the company’s baseline time to see if this partner is adding value.

Vince also uses win ratio to measure partner success. Are you winning more deals with your partner? Look at how your company has done selling an offering independently and see if the partner adds more wins.

The last metric Vince recommends is funnel velocity. Similar to deal velocity, look at if your partner is moving deals through the funnel at a faster rate.

Why Everyone Needs an Ecosystem

Partnerships can’t be put to the side anymore. In the new hyper-competitive landscape, ecosystems are fundamental and core to a company’s business. With everything moving to the cloud and customers always expecting best-in-class solutions, partnering should be part of your day-to-day discussion of revenue.

You’ve likely seen the Accenture survey that says more than 75% of CEOs believe that their business processes will be unrecognizable in 10 years - and the reason is ecosystems. Partnering is a must and it’s already evolving. Get ahead and leave channel strategy and traditional partner roles behind for a fully optimized ecosystem.


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