Looking to build a partner ecosystem? Here’s some advice.

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The current times have been a stark reminder that we are all in this together and no one can do it alone. Partnerships in business, government and even in our personal lives are more important now than ever. When building a partner ecosystem, there are some very basic steps that can be taken to achieve success.

In uncertain times, people seek consistency and predictability. With more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry working with business partners and setting up strategic partnerships, I’ve found that a key goal when developing a partner ecosystem is to make sure it drives a high level of repeatability and relevance – exactly what people are looking for these days.

With all the disruptions we have experienced in our lives and in business, the biggest challenge is keeping pace. How do you ensure that you are creating an ecosystem that’s relevant and allows for all that change to take place?

Organizations need to adopt an agile mentality and methodologies that allow for constant iterations and the ability to both fail fast and quickly course correct. Companies need to be positioned for growth and must have access to the right skills and the right capabilities. Leading the DXC Partner Network, I always emphasize the importance of making sure the right capabilities are present and that we are staying current with all that is going on today, while also positioning ourselves to respond effectively to whatever changes might take place tomorrow.

Based on that experience, I’ve identified three basic attributes every organization should have when forming a partner ecosystem:

  • Be viable. Having the ability to offer viable, relevant solutions is key. One goal of forming a partner ecosystem should be to deliver market-leading solutions that hit the mark for our customers. If you just build something and expect people to come, you should know that it never really happens that way.
  • Be desirable. A partner ecosystem needs to be desirable, in that it can provide business value for your customers. At DXC, we want to be desirable not only to our customers, but we want DXC to be a company our employees want to work for, and our partners want to work with.
  • Be deployable. It’s important for organizations to be distinctive with industry IP that’s truly differentiated, so you don’t just become a “me too.” Leading companies want to partner with you if you stand out from the competition and can offer something unique that is mutually beneficial to both you, your partners and your joint customers.

Still, from my experience, it’s hard to achieve all three of these. To start, the top of the organization needs to set the right tone, which then needs to extend all the way down to field execution. Another key is being able to objectively assess the strengths of the teams you have put together. A strong partner ecosystem allows you to focus on the strengths of others and gives you the ability to deploy a variety of options.

One company cannot be everything to everyone. Amid unprecedented change and rapid technology advancements, a partner ecosystem should bring forward innovation and differentiation in a coalesced manner. Partner ecosystem success is all about how you work together with your partners as one, instead of many disparate parts, to make it seamless for your customers.

Comments

  1. Mike Crowsen says:

    This is a good reminder of what makes a winning partnership. Even in these uncertain times we should be focusing in on the issues our customers are facing and developing plans around the joint solutions and services that to address the changing landscape.
    Thanks for the thought leadership.

  2. Patrik Strebel says:

    Excellent Blog and to the point… I also would add that and ecosystem success needs to be measurable and provide a clear financial value to the company.
    As always thanks for the inspiration

  3. You’re on the money Seelan. We need to consider our Partner’s customer with these three lenses. If done well, your customer’s success translates into your success which ultimately translates into an editing partner ecosystem.

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