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Relayware Partner Relationship Management

Relayware Survey: Partner Profitability Threatened by Poor Supplier Technology

60% of Channel Partners Report That Sub-Optimal Vendor Systems Impact Profitability

Jersey City, NJ & Oxford, UK – December 2, 2014 – Today, cloud services are profoundly affecting how technology suppliers and their channel partners engage with each other. While many channel partners race to integrate cloud solutions into their portfolios, their supplier vendors are grappling with how to best communicate and collaborate with partners as cloud computing changes the model. In its inaugural “Partnering Automation Benchmarks” survey of over 150 channel partners, Relayware discovered that technology suppliers must transform the way they engage with their partners to maintain loyalty, increase sales and maximize profitability in today’s business environment.

Relayware, a SaaS-based provider of partnering automation software, conducted research to identify the process gaps and gains in how suppliers do business with their partners. Relayware found that 60 percent of channel partners report that suppliers need to provide better systems and processes to enable higher sales through the channel. The full findings, available for download, provide a blueprint for suppliers to enhance partner productivity and performance.  

Key findings from the “Partnering Automation Benchmarks” report include:

Sub-Optimal Vendor Systems Negatively Impact Partner Profitability

  • Over half of all partners report that sub-optimal systems negatively impact profitability.
  • Nearly half report that the number of systems has gone up over past two years, and only 8 percent say the number of systems has gone down.
  • Nearly two-thirds of partners login to their primary vendor’s portal less than once per day.
  • Marketing & sales tools, training and support are the top three most important capabilities channel partners want from their primary vendors’ systems.

 “Primary Vendors” Get it Right in the Eyes of Channel Partners

  • Nearly three out of four partners surveyed believe their primary vendor has the best systems and automation.
  • 65 percent of channel partners say that their primary vendor’s partner systems do a good job of providing partner support, business intelligence and custom price quotes.
  • Partner loyalty to a vendor is driven heavily by good technical support and short response times.
  • Two-thirds of respondents say that their primary vendor’s partner portal is “good” or “very good.”

Survey Respondents’ Profiles:

  • Half of survey respondents said that their most strategic vendor was one of the four largest business-to-business technology companies (Cisco, Microsoft, HP and Lenovo).
  • Nearly half (47 percent) of partners have revenue of less than $10M.
  • Respondents come from a range of professional levels, including C-suite (29 percent), VP (23 percent), director (10 percent), manager, (32 percent) and other (6 percent).
  • Respondents include CEOs and owners as well as professionals in channel sales, marketing, vendor relations and operations.
  • Forty-four percent of respondents reported that they work with more than 15 vendors, and 36 percent say they work with between six and 15 vendors.
  • Considering the number of vendors, solution providers working with fewer than 15 vendors say they plan to consolidate their portfolio, while those working with more than 15 vendors plan to add vendors to their offerings.

Supporting Quotes:

“At a high level, the results from our research confirms what we expected to hear back from channel partners - cloud technology is having a major impact on how they do business with their suppliers,” said Relayware Chief Marketing Officer Jim Somers. “But what really surprised us was the financial hit that poor systems and automation is having on their bottom line.  What’s evident is that vendors who fail to provide the tools partners need to be informed, up-to-date, and responsive will be pushed aside by those that are easier to do business with.”

“The relationship between suppliers and their channel partners should be an open two-way street, but frequently it’s not,” said Relayware Chief Product Officer Veronica Brunwin.  “In today’s need it now, need it fast world, having just a partner portal is not enough.  More channel partners are voting with their feet and choosing suppliers that offer more modern, cloud-based systems that give the real-time support and business intelligence they need, when they need it.”   

Join Somers and Brunwin in a webinar on December 4 at 11 a.m. ET when they will review the complete findings and explain how vendors can drive loyalty and engagement with partnering automation. Sign up and receive a complimentary copy of the full report.

The poll, conducted by the global research firm exëvo, included one-to-one phone interview responses from 161 channel partners.

About Relayware

Relayware is a leading SaaS-based partnering automation company, serving hi-tech, manufacturing, telecommunications, financial services and insurance companies around the world. Providing a comprehensive range of partner-centric applications, including partner portals, training, sales and marketing packs that unlock the key to partner productivity, Relayware delivers greater partner engagement, productivity and return on indirect channel investment. At the core of Relayware is the Partner Cloud, a platform for deploying and integrating the communication tools that simplify and extend partner processes beyond the enterprise. Additional information is available at www.Relayware.com.

Media Contact: Allison Watters; Allison.Watters@Relayware.com; 201-433-2534