Why IP Is Imperative to Channel Partners' Future

By Howard M. Cohen  |  Print this article Print
intellectual property

ANALYSIS: You cannot wait any longer to start planning your intellectual property. Creating your own IP helps give you a leg up over the competition.

Ways to Create Your Own IP

This raises the question of how to create your own IP. Here are a few available strategies to help you get started planning for surviving (and thriving) in the future.

1. The independent software vendor (ISV) clearly has the upper hand already. By definition, they create IP in the software they develop. Their challenge will be to continue to expand the number of customers they have running their software.

2. Many business intelligence (BI) partners who have long focused in on popular BI platforms like Microsoft SharePoint have shifted gears to package some of the customizations they've developed into resellable products that they are now marketing very aggressively.

3. ERP and CRM specialists have also been packaging their customizations and using other developmental strategies to create applications that plug in or otherwise leverage popular platforms such as SAP, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics AX and CRM, and others to provide vertical applications or other high-end added value.

4. Data integrators who have specialized in connecting ERP, CRM, marketing automation and other systems to share data have taken the insight gained into their customers' data structures and resold it back to those customers and to other customers in the same industry.

5. Business process re-engineering and project management experts have developed and are publishing repeatable methodologies that can be used to increase the efficiency of various projects, usually with exquisite automation.

Bottom Line

You cannot wait any longer to start planning your own IP. Available margin on the products and services you are selling today are quickly evaporating around you. Creating your own IP provides you with a strong strategic differentiator that helps set you apart from the competition. No competition means no commoditization, preserving and increasing your margins.

The imperative is to innovate. Find new and more innovative ways to deliver real value to your customers. Sales motivator Zig Ziglar said, "If you're doing what you've always done, you're probably getting what you've always got."

Going forward, not so much.