Establishing Better Partnerships with Technology Vendors

By Lawrence Walsh  |  Print this article Print

Channel Insider and Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions teamed up to produce this set of best practices for evaluating and establishing productive, profitable and enduring relationships between the suppliers of technology goods and the solution providers that maintain customer relationships in the marketplace.

More than $500 billion in IT goods and services is sold and delivered through North America channel partners—solution providers, managed service providers, systems integrators, custom systems builders, ISVs and VARs. Most vendors are dependent upon solution provider and reseller partners to reach and manage segments of the IT marketplace that they simply can’t reach with a direct sales organization. For many of them, increasing channel revenue is a product of both increasing existing partners’ sales and expanding the size of the partner base to increase volume of sales. The latter half of that statement is the reason why nearly every vendor is perpetually recruiting new partners.

The perpetual vendor recruitment machine presents a daunting problem for solution providers. Vendors are constantly calling and looking for meetings. Vendors sponsor industry and media trade shows to meet new solution providers for inclusion in their portfolios. And solution providers are often asked by customers for new technologies that necessitate exploring new partner and supplier relationships.

Solution providers, on average, will join two to three vendor programs over the next 12 months. Amazingly, they will regret that decision more than half the time. In most cases, it can take up to a year or longer for a new partner-solution provider relationship to take root and pay benefits.

What does it take for a solution provider to join a vendor partner program? What are the key considerations when exploring a new vendor relationship? How much time should a solution provider spend examining the partner program and benefits of the relationship? And can solution providers avoid "buyer’s regret" after joining a program?

Channel Insider and Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions (EMS) teamed up to conduct this first study on the partner recruitment life cycle. The data and trends revealed by this study provide the first quantified look into the time and expense of joining a vendor program, as well as benchmarks for solution providers’ due diligence of vendor programs. The result is a set of best practices for establishing productive, profitable and enduring vendor-solution provider partnerships.

In the Channel Insider/Motorola EMS Partnership Study, we will review and make strategic recommendations on:

  • Current Partnership and Technology Trends
  • Partner Program Recruitment Life Cycle
  • Obstacles and Challenges of Joining Vendor Partner Programs
  • Best Practices for Joining Vendor Partner Programs


Click here to read more strategic reports by Channel Insider


Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.

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