This is the final blog in a five-part series in which Freek Hemminga, LeaseWeb’s Global Channel & Strategic Alliances Manager, looks ahead to the challenges and opportunities for channel partners in the coming year. Here are part 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Every business has to foster good relationships with its customers. But right now, it’s more important than ever for solution providers to pay attention to maintaining strong connections not only with existing customers but with new ones too. That’s because the inevitable transformation from a transaction based business model to a recurring revenue based one takes time. So it’s going to be vital to keep the installed base satisfied during the process because they will be providing the bread and butter funding in the short term. Then, once the recurring business model is established, it will be necessary to build relationships from scratch with new customers who will provide the profits in the long term.
This is part three of a five-part series in which Freek Hemminga, LeaseWeb’s Global Channel & Strategic Alliances Manager, looks ahead to the challenges and opportunities for channel partners in the coming year. Here are part 1, 2 and 3.
While the move to the cloud opens up many opportunities for solution providers, there are one or two dangers to be aware of too. First, there are geopolitical and macroeconomic issues offering both threats and opportunities. Then there are issues like the changing role of legislation, the importance of choosing the right financial model, the need to have the right skillsets in your team and the ability to conduct a new kind of marketing. All these things demand attention from solution providers if they are to compete in a transforming marketplace.
This is part three of a five-part series in which Freek Hemminga, LeaseWeb’s Global Channel & Strategic Alliances Manager, looks ahead to the challenges and opportunities for channel partners in the coming year. Read part 1 and 2.
Two specific areas offer solution providers major opportunities for growth this year: first, emerging technologies enabled by the cloud and, second, compliance. They both offer ways to differentiate a solution provider’s business from its competition and so encourage growth from not only an installed base but from new customers too. But time is of the essence. The sooner providers add these to their service offerings the better.
This is part two of a five-part series in which Freek Hemminga, LeaseWeb’s Global Channel & Strategic Alliances Manager, looks ahead to the challenges and opportunities for channel partners in the coming year. Read part 1.
As I explained during a recent interview, there’s no doubt that the rules have changed in the market. The way IT is sold, purchased and distributed is shifting dramatically and everyone involved in the business has to adapt to the new environment.
In part one of a five-part series, Freek Hemminga, LeaseWeb’s Global Channel & Strategic Alliances Manager, looks ahead to the challenges and opportunities for channel partners in the coming year.
In the last year, the whole business landscape for channel partners has changed thanks to the emergence of cloud. It has been a year of transformation and channel partners need to respond to this structural change in the market if they are to take advantage of the new environment and use it to spur growth for their businesses. These are some of the developments that I see happening, and the impact they have:
When doing business, you want to be able to trust your partners. In modern days, this means that every partner in the supply chain needs to implement a unified compliance approach to ensure the entire chain is certified. This can be a time and energy-consuming task however, which is not part of a company’s core business. For not only do you need to re-evaluate and adjust your processes to gain the certifications, the necessary audits can be costly as well.
It is good to know that there is an easy way out: look for an infrastructure partner that can provide you with compliance, including all necessary legal requirements, and incorporate third party controls and processes seamlessly into your own governance framework. See quickly and clearly all your security measures and be 100% sure that the necessary tools, control and processes are in place to cancel out continuity risks. Without affecting the operational efficiency of your business.
Microsoft’s annual worldwide partner conference (WPC) in Orlando, Florida in July opened up many insights into the company’s strategy around the role partners will play in an increasingly Cloud-centric IT architecture. More than 15,000 attendees – myself among them – were given the opportunity to network and discover how working with Microsoft will include as much value-adding to its Cloud portfolio as performing on-premises integration work.
Exciting developments include Project GigJam, the Cortana Analytics Suite for improved business intelligence and HoloLens for visualisation. For partners, Microsoft is expanding its Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program to help partners engage with solution providers to build Cloud businesses without investing in infrastructure themselves and take advantage of services offered by other Microsoft partners.
LeaseWeb improves continually to meet your expectations
Listening to your customer is a key driver to success, as industry leaders show. The voice of the customer is articulated in an ongoing dialogue. When customers share their feedback, they expect you to listen, act and inform about the enhancements you have been making and are working on. And right they are. But even when the customer is satisfied, that is not good enough. Only when the customer’s expectations are met or exceeded, a satisfied customer can turn into a loyal customer.
Why NPS is not the Holy Grail
To measure the loyalty of our customers, LeaseWeb uses the Net Promotor Score (NPS) as a key performance indicator. The NPS is a management tool that was developed by Fred Reichheld and introduced in 2003. By asking one simple question – ‘How likely is it that you would recommend … to a friend or colleague?’ – it measures a company’s perceived performance and basically tells you how happy customers are.
The NPS is helpful, but all too often, organizations focus too much on the score. The score itself only tells you the temperature of the relationship with customers. If the relationship has deteriorated and has reached a fever temperature, it does not indicate what caused the fever. Was it a bad sales contact, or the quality of the products? And what can you do to improve the sales or product experience?
When recently I wanted to add a little extra living space to my house, I called a construction company I had done business with before. Of course, I could have Googled ‘construction work’ and ‘DIY living room modification’, but I know my limitations.
My line of business is IT, and specifically hosting, cloud computing and partner business. And what I see happening at some IT-partners worries me.
More and more companies are well aware of the benefits of cloud computing. Naturally, they turn to their trusted IT-partner for advice, assistance and guidance.