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5 Traits to Look for in a Successful Cloud Reseller

It takes a lot of time and investment on the part of the service provider to make a channel partnership successful, so choose your cloud channel partners wisely. At Sungard Availability Services, we have found that our most successful partners are those who first and foremost focus on customer relationships and service. 

The ideal partners are comfortable managing hybrid environments – a combination of the cloud, managed hosting or colocation. Additional beneficial skills include backup and recovery and/or managing SAP and Oracle application environments. Since we serve highly regulated industries, such as healthcare and financial services, we look for such vertical expertise as well. When we partner with these companies we create mutually beneficial solutions for everyone involved.  

While this expertise is crucial for our partnerships, we’ve noticed certain “personality traits” across the board tend to result in a productive relationship with cloud reseller partners. 

1.Executive Leadership

Successful resellers have bought into the cloud model. The executive leadership has recognized that the traditional IT purchasing model is shifting. As such they also need to change their business model or risk the threat of going out of business. These executives realize that in order for their companies to thrive in the future, they need to add a recurring revenue model to increase the value of their business. They are changing the way they bill and service their customers.  They are also changing the way they compensate their sales force.  The drive to make these changes needs to exist not only at the functional levels of management, but also at the Partner’s C-Level executive suite. 

2.Relationship with Customers

Successful cloud resellers have intimate knowledge of their customer systems, environment, applications and business. They are sales and technical experts on hybrid cloud services. More than 10% of their revenue tends to come from value-added services. They not only provide break/fix services but also advisory and integration expertise. Their technical staff almost “lives” at the customer site. Moreover, they have developed close relationships with customers that go well beyond IT departments. 

3.Trust

We’ve been in business long enough to understand the value of a trust in a partnership. Since it takes a lot of effort to become a vendor of choice, Sungard AS invests in keeping trusting relationships with its partners. And we don’t take anything for granted. Our sales teams engage in mutually beneficial collaboration and communication with our partners’ sales reps, exchanging ideas and expertise. We value integrity and strive to keep our promises. As with any relationship, one wrong-doing can ruin the relationship and have devastating results. Therefore, we take precaution to protect our partner and customer interests, every day, in every deal. By leading with trust, we find our best cloud resellers respond in kind.

4.Give to Get

There is a wise saying that it’s better to give than receive. Top partners are willing to seed the pipeline and participate in joint account planning sessions and then strategize to drive joint wins together. We let our partners into our accounts when they need and ask for it. They do the same in return.

5.Integrated Approach

These partners know what they bring to the table – their unique value proposition. They have created a valuable integration of their services with the service providers to create a more compelling offering for their customers. Cloud solutions are rarely one single product –they contain a mix of products and services that work together.   Top partners tend to create “productized services” where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Vendors expend much time and investment on recruiting channel partners. Look for some of these qualities to find the “right fit” partners for you.

Carmen Sorice III, SVP Channels, Sungard Availability Services

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