Our previous blog post stated that partnering could be either the connective tissue or the Achilles’ Heel of a company’s efforts to capitalize upon the tremendous opportunities offered by the Internet of Things (IoT) - and all the technologies enabling the digitization of business and the shift to everything as a service (XaaS) and outcomes-based business models. We said that smart companies are rethinking their partnering practices from the customer back – and finding that what they’ve been doing is no longer sufficient for the speed, scale, and scope of partnering today.
At the crux of the issue is that in order to deliver the turnkey solutions customers require, companies need the ability to assemble just the right mix of partners for that customer scenario – and hope that can become a replicable industry use case, relevant for many more customers without tremendous customization. The path for achieving this appears to be a targeted and precise vertical focus.
Indeed, IDC’s recent study1 of IT channel ecosystems and the rapidly growing IoT marketplace highlighted two key observations:
- To succeed in IoT, solution providers need to specialize by micro-vertical markets and have specific solutions for individual use cases
- Companies that are succeeding in the IoT market form alliances for each IoT element they need to complete the end-to-end solutions
Baked/embedded into the company’s strategy, infrastructure and operations
An overarching, end-to-end governance process driving accountability, and constantly looking for levers that will accelerate growth
Encourage experimentation, providing resources for placing bets to seed future opportunities, and testing new business models
Digitized to provide as much self-service by partners as possible and to enable the business units and sales teams to quickly partner as needed, without a lot of complexity
Enable the rapid development of the micro-vertical use cases
Drive the ability to execute efficiently and effectively with consistent tools and templates, as well as providing just-in-time snippets of training available on a mobile platform
Success in the IoT partnering is not happenstance - it takes careful design. The ability to execute within the complexity of the IoT ecosystem will be the difference between the winners and losers. The winners will leverage the core principles of partnering, but will rewrite the rules to account for speed, scale, and scope of partnering required for a micro-vertical go-to-market approach. Taking a horizontal approach to how to partner will drive the ability to make that partnering replicable and profitable.
Be sure to check out our article in the summer 2016 issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine, “Mastering the Speed, Scale, and Scope of Partnering for the Connected Ecosystems of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”