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Three Tiers for ISV Partnerships
ISV partnerships in the past have been strictly tech-driven, but a new study reports that marketing and sales capabilities are also becoming important attractors in these relationships.
Posted Dec 12, 2006
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Marketing resources and sales resources are the two new eye-catchers for independent software vendor (ISV) partnerships, according to a report issued today by IDC. Although vendor partner programs have traditionally been driven by technical capabilities, due to a call in the market for broader platforms, marketing and sales capabilities are beginning to become a crucial fixture in these partnerships. Technical support is still the top driver, but IDC projects that the three functionalities together will soon become "the three key pillars driving successful ISV relationships." "Increasingly the software vendors are realizing that they can't go it alone. We're hearing more and more that they're accepting this idea of having to build an ecosystem," says Stephen Graham, group vice president for global software business strategies at IDC and coauthor of the report. Graham says that the competition in the software market is becoming fiercer; it is no longer enough to have a good product, but a vendor must have attractive partnerships and a stable ecosystem. The study, "Worldwide Top 10 ISV Partner Programs 2006 Vendor Analysis: Enabling ISV Partners for Success," cites the top-10 IT vendors most attractive to ISVs as BEA Systems, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, Progress, SAP, and Symantec. Although no vendor received perfect marks for the assessment, IBM received the highest score, with SAP/Oracle and HP filling out the second and third spots. The top scorers earned their positions due to their ability to deliver sales and marketing resources as well as technical support. The report explains that the shift towards marketing and sales is occurring as it becomes crucial for ISVs to not only nurture their existing customer relationships but to build out their customer base. "You want to make sure that especially smaller ISVs have the ability to grow," Graham says. Additionally, Graham explains that is extremely important from a CRM perspective to understand that this expanding horizon means that providers must widen their lens to look beyond just the customers that they're serving. He says, "Your customers now exist in a larger ecosystem of providers. For you to be successful you need to be cognizant of what that looks like. It's a very different management approach than trying to sell somebody your product."
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