The Voice of the Channel


Cloud Series, Part VI

How to Stand Out in Today's Cloud Market (Hint: Partner, Build or Acquire?)

By George Mellor, KloudReadiness, and Theresa Caragol, Achieve Unite

Today's cloud market is packed with players—everyone is looking to grab his/her share of the opportunity an early majority market creates. Standing out in this type of environment can be challenging. However, you can build a competitive advantage.

Here's how:

  1. Invest in the right partnerships: Partnerships are a wonderful way to pair complementary offerings that drive joint pipeline and revenue. The key is to choose partners that are truly aligned to your organization from a technology, culture and support standpoint. Additionally, we find that the most productive relationships have executive teams that buy into the partnership and actively promote and nurture the relationship with field teams.

    Tip: You can find and evaluate your own partnerships or you can leverage formal partner alliance organizations such as, Member-to-Member Commerce (M2MC) and to help you identify partnering opportunities.

  2. Develop industry-differentiated, market-aligned products and services: Another effective way to grow your cloud practice is through the products and services you offer and the intellectual property you possess. Look at your customers' business challenges and innovate within their specific industries—and align your strategy with that of your partners. Consider the niche markets in which you have unique experience or skills and develop solutions aligned to them. These could include solutions for specific verticals (e.g., fintech, healthcare, etc.) or solutions that address other key customer challenges (e.g., regulatory compliance, security, resiliency, etc.). Also, look for the opportunity to develop approaches and applications that leverage your own intellectual property.

    Tip: Playbooks can be a great way to share a blueprint of your joint offerings and best practices so that your entire organization (sales, GTM, marketing, etc.) is on the same page and can swiftly take this new offering to market.

  3. Consider acquisition opportunities: In addition to being strategic about the partnerships you're forming, consider accelerating your time to market and extending your reach into new or existing markets through acquisition. An early majority cloud market is ripe with opportunities.

    Tip: When considering an acquisition, consider the advice of Frank Coker, author of "Pulse": The most successful acquisitions have tight plans and measurements, leaving little opportunity for the process to unravel, and have a keen focus on delivering specific, visible and measured results, which keep everyone focused.

George Mellor is the Founder & CEO of KloudReadiness. A Corporate Development Specialist advising on mission critical monthly recurring revenue business models and operational initiatives including Business Development, Organizational Design and Process Re-engineering to bring businesses into the next generation of doing business with Cloud and Digital Technology's in the subscription-based economy. He's held numerous Executive Level positions within the IT Solution Provider and Managed Services space with four (4) effective exits along with founding two (2) successful SaaS company's. George has served on high-level Manufacturers Councils including: Cisco Systems - Executive Partner Council and Partner Operations Advisory Board; Lenovo - Services Advisory Council; Hewlett Packard - Partner Services Advisory Board; CompTIA
Theresa Caragol is founder and CEO of TCC, LLC, and Achieve Unite, a strategic advisory firm that provides business acceleration services to global enterprise. She has more than 20 years' experience in building and managing multi-million-dollar indirect channel teams and strategic alliance business and programs from inception to sales success. Prior to founding TCC, Theresa held senior executive roles at Extreme Networks, Ciena and Nortel.

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