More and more tech vendors are incorporating technology and service specializations into their channel programs, promising stronger partner benefits—provided specific training and business requirements are met. Meanwhile, IT customers are demanding greater breadth and depth of expertise from their resellers as tech solutions become more varied and complex. In response to those pressures, many solution providers (SPs) are adopting a partner-to-partner (P2P) collaboration approach, writes Heather K. Margolis in a recent Channel Maven Consulting blog post.

P2P collaboration—partnering with other resellers to achieve "coopetition," or cooperative competition—enables SPs to tap into the technical expertise of other resellers. In doing so, SPs can give their customers a wider variety of offerings without straining their own resources.

Many in the industry agree that such collaboration is now critical to stay competitive, especially for small and new businesses. Nexus, an advanced technology provider in southern California, is one such example.

Nexus partners with other SPs to reach a broader base of end-customers—leveraging greater technical resources, certifications, expertise and experience. Nexus has expanded its P2P network and now engages with other business consultants who offer a referral program for anyone bringing them clients or partners.

"These partners can compete with the big boys without getting more certifications or growing their business too rapidly ... or in an area they don't want to be focused," says Steve Darius, Strategic Accounts Manager at Nexus. A Cisco Systems provider, Nexus has already seen benefits to its Cisco business: revenue has grown 15% due to P2P collaboration, and 78% of partners are winning bigger deals due to such partnerships.

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