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Relayware Partner Relationship Management

Ask the Expert: Matt Williams, Relayware Head of Professional Services

Previously a Relayware customer

Question: When did you join Relayware?

Williams: I joined Relayware in April 2015.

I came from Symantec, where I had been for two years. And prior to that, I worked for Lenovo and IBM.

Question: Tell me more about your background before Relayware.

Williams: I have 15 years of experience working in the channel. I’ve worked for both hardware and software companies, and my roles have covered channel marketing, channel operations and project management.

When I was at Symantec, I implemented a channel performance management initiative to give the business a view of their channel performance globally. We could see the performance of the channel systems implemented and visualized the metrics in a series of dashboards that covered individual sales reps, sales leaders and channel leaders.

I have also been a Relayware customer. At Lenovo, I implemented Relayware’s partner relationship management software. Specifically, I implemented it for EMEA, and then went on to work for global transformation team that managed the integration of Relayware within the business.

In the redesign of the partner program Lenovo saw massive channel growth and became the leader in the channel hardware space. That was incredible to be a part of.

Question: What are your responsibilities here at Relayware?

Williams: I head up Relayware’s professional services team. We’re a group of project managers, business analysts, developers and system application configurators, and it’s our job to implement Relayware’s software solution for customers.

Question: You have a lot of experience working for large technology companies. What are key differences you see working here at Relayware, a smaller company?

Williams: Here, it’s very much about getting the job done – all hands on deck to get to the finish line.

Everyone is focused on providing our customers with value-add. We all work really hard to help customers better manager their channel interactions. We see success every day, and that’s really cool.

Question: What do you like about your job?

Williams: I’m helping my team grow as individuals as well as a collective, which is very fulfilling.

I also love getting feedback from our customers. We are committed to their success, and so it’s crucial that we understand what works and what doesn’t.

We have a great product and great people, which reinforces the value of every day and every interaction.

Question: You’ve had a nice career in the channel. Clearly, you believe in its value.

Williams: Yes, the channel is essential for companies to grow in terms of scale and reach. Only through channel partners can companies cover a multitude of verticals and geographies. Additionally, partners enable strong service support that a vendor could not do on its own. This is true for global giants as well as smaller, fast-growing companies.

Question: What are largest struggles you see customers facing in channel management?

Williams: Vendors today want to see the return on investment. Channel account managers must articulate that ROI – both the channel program as a whole as well as the underlying systems. They are looking to show tangible benefits in terms of dollars and growth numbers. This is one of the key challenges of any business, and it’s especially challenging in the channel.

Question: What are some of the most innovative solutions you have seen to addressing challenges in channel management?

Williams: The very best channel programs have strong structure and processes married to robust systems. One without the other doesn’t work.

From my experience, I know that top channel programs are not only structured well, but they have a robust metric management. They link operations and channel productivity.

Question: Where do you see growth in the industry?

Williams: Today’s leading vendors are working to leverage channel to better drive revenue opportunities. Successful channel managers know this and want to make use of channel data, such as channel partner profile, volume flow, channel health, and much more. Forward-thinking CAMs aim to analyze leading indicators to predict and prescribe success. This kind of prescriptive partner performance management is where we’re headed.