Expert Speak

Driving Growth Through Effective Channel Partners


Mukesh Lohar, Head – Sales & Strategy, Knowlarity Communications

Observing Nature can teach us many important lessons – applicable even in businesses – which can be essential to thrive in today’s world. For instance, many organisms depend on each other for mutual benefit to survive in difficult ecosystems, in a phenomenon referred to as symbiosis; like the relation between insects and plants resulting in pollination. Symbiosis is a spectacular lesson for businesses that are hoping to expand and prevail in the extremely competitive markets.

It is in this sense, that the notion of channel partnership can be perceived as an important step for businesses. Channel partnerships forge a relationship between manufacturers and a family of interested partners to broaden each others’ business and technological spectrums. While in Nature, symbiosis makes organisms dependent on each other, in businesses with channel partnerships, the relationship between manufacturers and channel partners is turned into a complementary one; channel partnerships fill the missing pieces in the grander jigsaw puzzle.

Holistic portfolios

Channel partners are not necessarily smaller companies, only attempting to fill in their portfolios by co-branding products from bigger manufacturers. They could also be companies striving to complete their portfolios when offering solutions to their customers. Consider the case of a company, primarily manufacturing voice telephony equipment; without the inherent ability to service Internet Protocol based switching solutions. In order to service a customer with complete networking solutions, it might serve well to have access to switching solutions within the purview of the company.

It is in such scenarios, that a company can choose to become a channel partner with a complementary manufacturer. This broadens the portfolio of the company, and thus enabling the possibility of closing bigger deals. The additional advantage of skills transfer and prospects of newer markets become imminent for companies who take up channel partnership. Channel partners can inculcate impeccable versatility, just by endorsing and committing to the right manufacturers.

Spreading the roots

To the manufacturers, channel partnership offers the best possible avenue to expand their business.

A globalized market provides golden opportunities for companies to expand their operations far and wide. Companies cannot always branch out to benefit from such new prospects; enter channel partners, and the hurdle of branching is overcome without losing out on new customers.

With good channel partners, the manufacturing company can also benefit from the market experiences and customer base ushered in by the partners. Channel partnership makes it lucrative for the manufacturers as it opens up newer avenues, as the partners can cater to local requirements which might not be amenable for the manufacturer to handle in terms of supply and/or support.

Take the case of channel partners in the automobile industry – it would not be feasible for a manufacturer to get down and dirty with the nitty-gritty of selling automobiles to millions of end customers. By opting in channel partners instead, the automobile industry has overcome the hurdle of crossing international borders and accessing the end customer right at their doorsteps. This is of course true for many other businesses.

A Win-Win partnership

Channel partnership nurtures mutual growth for both parties involved. The endorsement of a manufacturer improves visibility for the channel partners within the technology domain of the manufacturer, making the channel partners all the more competitive. By positioning products through channel partners in different markets, the manufacturer has a certain niche when compared to its competitors. Strategically, in terms of technology and business, channel partnerships make it a win-win association for the manufacturer and the channel partners.

The success story of channel partnerships are well known in all businesses. With the new prospects unleashed by the Internet economies and globalized markets, the scope and scale of channel partnerships have only grown and are waiting to be harnessed from different sectors.

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