2020 has been a year like no other. Amidst the uncertainty surrounding Brexit back in January, the Coronavirus pandemic sent shockwaves across multiple industries causing many to come to a grinding halt and others to make drastic decisions to remain operational. What's more, the UK’s business landscape has shifted exponentially with organizations of all sizes feeling a sense of anxiety and lack of confidence towards its ability to bounce back to a pre-Covid state.
For example, a recent report from Nexus Global surveyed senior business managers across the UK to gauge their sentiments towards the current climate. Among its findings, the report revealed that UK businesses are least confident about the health of the country’s economy.
Yet, as we emerge into a new era, this year has also presented huge opportunities and given us a greater sense of camaraderie; instilling the notion that we will navigate this new landscape if we stand together.
Benefits of partner-driven growth
For businesses, partner-driven growth has been a strategy for organizations of all sizes and verticals; whereby they look to take their vendor-supplier relationships further to become certified partners. As a result, experiencing significant gains for each company involved in the partnership.
The hunt for tech partnerships is rife as companies look to digitally transform their businesses in-line with the repercussions of the global pandemic. As a result, their focus has shifted towards solutions that deliver complete business outcomes, rather than multiple out-sourced solutions. This creates a unique window of opportunity for strategic tech partnerships. What’s more, with the buyer’s journey becoming increasingly digital too, partners will need to offer a mix of services that cross cloud platforms and apps that suit the needs of customers.
Reach new verticals
For example, now that cybersecurity has become a priority for many organizations, due to the rise in malicious attacks on home-based workers, strategic partnerships between tech companies have opened up brand new markets. Take insurance as an example - cloud-based platforms that provide a complete virtual workplace can now be completely insured in terms of cybersecurity. Here, insurance companies can expand their offerings to brand new cloud markets, while cloud tech companies can ensure their platform is as secure as possible, providing insurance to their customers for the first time.
Untapped niches and undeveloped segments become viable potential markets with the power of tech partnerships. More and more, we are witnessing companies learn to seek potential partnerships based on the possible outcomes they envision their combined partner force could deliver, rather than assessing the company's solution offerings alone.
Enable new experiences
When forming a partnership, you are ultimately leveraging expertise in different areas to supply a greater and comprehensive offering to your clients by offering additional solutions and services. This could be through combining the skills and resources of other specialists to provide and achieve more for all involved to enable new experiences you otherwise would never have even realized.
In the current Covid climate which we find ourselves in, the need for robust remote working solutions are hugely sought after. It goes without saying that, transitioning an entire workforce to a remote-working model overnight proved a brand new experience for many business leaders. This was a great example of how a business can work together with a tech partner to deliver the cloud solution that will enable their entire company to work remotely effectively and efficiently, without compromising on security.
Facilitating an ecosystem to provide end-user benefits
In today’s digitally connected world, tech ecosystems are a key factor in breaching new markets and competing effectively. A network of organizations, including suppliers, distributors, customers, and competitors delivering products and services contributing to a common mission, makes up a tech ecosystem. Working around an ecosystem ultimately puts the customer's end-to-end journey at the forefront. With one common goal, service providers can work together with one another helping to shape the customer’s relationship with the company.
It is important to prioritize the end customer and their experience with your company when engaging with partners. This will allow your business to build strong relationships with existing customers that encourages the spread of positive word of mouth, resulting in a new, larger and more loyal clientele base.
How to avoid the common pit-falls of a tech partnership
Selecting the right partner
True strategic partnerships produce a mutual, two-way synergy. Therefore, it is critical the partner must compliment your own business goals and aims. Whatever the primary goal, this could be to grow a client base, reach new investors or improve solution offerings, one thing remains certain: the goals between the partners should be in alignment. After all, partnerships prove most effective, the longer the relationship. By avoiding bitter disputes, it is essential to choose the right partner by considering the goals and aims of the partnership over their immediate offerings to you and your customers needs.
Building a partner program
A reliable partner program will no doubt boost your overall image as a professional company that has plans to disrupt the market and grow as a result. A partner program should outline incentives, everyday communication and engagement, sales and tech support, business planning and structure from both sides. Without a robust partner program, the boarding process can become problematic when explaining how the company works with others.
During a period of such uncertainty and economic anxiety, now is the time that businesses need to come together, utilize their resources and customer bases to drive their overall growth. Instead of turning on each other, companies can look to reach out for mutual support as they navigate the ever-changing financial landscape. Tech partnerships are a highly effective way for companies to raise their business profile and reap the long-term benefits of a strategic collaboration.
Both small or large businesses will have suffered in the past few months. Coming together has already proved a lifeline for many to not only survive, but to thrive. Opening up new possibilities by reaching new verticals and enabling new experiences are just a few of the surefire ways employing tech partners can help scale a business in a fast and sustainable manner during a time of unpredictability and unrest.
Dominik Birgelen, CEO, oneclick AG