ISVs Say Partners Vital to SaaS Success

Editor’s note: As part of our special editorial partnership, Channelnomics is publishing this recent article from Channel Marketer Report.

Avangate has released results of a Forrester Consulting commissioned study, the Technology Adoption Profile (TAP), which confirms the increasing role of the channel, especially in the emerging software-as-a-service (SaaS) space.

The majority (79 percent) of ISVs surveyed report their channel partner program will play a strategic role in growing SaaS revenues, and 66 percent of respondents say channel partners are vital to growing revenues from their SaaS products.

Key challenges facing channel partners, according to the study, include the following:

1. Evolving business models: As SaaS matures, ISVs are interested in evolving to more flexible payment options, such as usage-based billing. However, 49 percent of respondents say they are concerned or very concerned that partners will not be able to adapt to this shift.

2. Expanding into new markets: While channel partners are a vital asset to help ISVs extend solutions to new markets worldwide, 47 percent of respondents say they are ill-equipped to help channel partners market and sell to new geographies.

3. Supporting customers directly: As many as 42 percent of ISVs indicate their partners fail to take ownership of end-user relationships. Furthermore, 40 percent of respondents say they are concerned channel partners aren’t servicing end customers correctly, whether it’s a technical, billing or account-related issue. This lack of customer service can lead to missed up-sell opportunities and decreased end-user loyalty.

4. Renewing existing accounts: Approximately 21 percent of ISVs say they are satisfied with channel partner renewal rates. However, 41 percent of total respondents say they are dissatisfied with results.

5. Providing account visibility: Lack of visibility surrounding sales and marketing progress has been a common point for organizations across the channel. In this case, 44 percent of ISVs say they don’t have instant access to channel partner performance information, especially regarding the acquisition and renewal of SaaS accounts. “Solution partners lack sophisticated account tracking and lead management tools,” according to the report, “which in turn prevents them from sharing visibility into their funnel up to the ISV vendors they support.”

Channel Marketer Report Managing Editor Alicia Fiorletta reports on the latest news, technologies, case studies and trends coming to forefront in the channel marketing world, with a focus on emerging marketing strategies.

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One Response to “ISVs Say Partners Vital to SaaS Success”

  • The challenge of selling cloud through channels continues. Channel partners who find it challenging to change and adapt to new billing models, annuity revenues over up front values, selling configuration rather than installation and figuring out new commission schemes and support methods.

    Resale channels need to re-define their ‘V’alues to client and also to the supplying vendors. Vendors who have spent considerable amounts developing and building cloud solutions are keen to moneterise and if they do not feel their channels are supporting and moving quickly to this initiative many will be tempted to find customers directly, negating the values they always found in channels before a second thought is given. Take Microsoft with Office 365 and the backtracking that has had to happen.

    To reach the SMB and mid markets the channel has geographic, relationship and vertical values to bring to bear and vendors who don’t have a self serve offering with customers rushing to them will continue to need value from the reach a channel brings.

    For more on selling cloud through channels these agnostic papers are avalable for free download

    Ian Moyse

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