#90 Hannibal Scipio: 3 Challenges for Connecting Partners
Hannibal manages business strategy for the global Partner to Partner team. He was a guest on the Ecosystem Aces podcast recently and talked all about the challenges that his team faces, what it takes to ensure a successful partnership, and so much more.
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How many partners are in your ecosystem?
Dozens? Hundreds? Maybe thousands?
If you’re Microsoft, the answer to this simple question is in the hundreds of thousands. Upwards of 300,000 to be more precise.
As you can imagine, managing 300,000+ partnerships is no small task. There are a lot of things that have to go right. A lot of pieces that have to run perfectly in order to allow for an ecosystem of this magnitude to function.
That’s where Hannibal Scipio and his team come in. Hannibal manages business strategy for the global Partner to Partner team. He was a guest on the Ecosystem Aces podcast recently and talked all about the challenges that his team faces, what it takes to ensure a successful partnership, and so much more.
In a prior life, the whole concept of partnerships was all based on tribal knowledge. You knew the right people, they knew the right people, and they connected you with the right people at the right moment.
But the partnership landscape has changed in the last few decades.
Whereas before you had to seek out partnerships, companies as big as Microsoft now have entire ecosystems built around partnership discovery. Entire programs dedicated to expanding their networks.
The question Hannibal and the team asked themselves was a simple one: “How do we democratize and make available to the masses our greater ecosystem to find and connect to other partners in our ecosystem?”
Once you’ve enabled the discovery of partnerships, the next step is to connect those partners.
Hannibal laid out three challenges his team faced as they moved through this journey.
It’s all built around trust.
As any large company will tell you, trust is difficult to obtain and easy to lose. So it’s as crucial now as it’s ever been that your partners can trust you, and trust one another.
2. Sharing Common Definitions
A lot of people hear “alliance” or “partnerships” or “ecosystem” and the dollar signs immediately start flashing in their eyes, especially if they’re in sales.
But it’s important that everybody involved knows exactly what is required to build a successful partnership.
3. Enable Your Field
How do we as professionals support our partners in their partnerships? How do we support and empower our field?
Collaborating with Partners
The key ingredient is the people. It’s always and forever about the people. A partnership program is useless if collaboration isn’t at the center.
And this isn’t a new concept.
Whether your organization has 10 partners or 10 million partners, this idea of facilitating cross-functional collaboration is time tested.