This week, I’m participating in a summit in the heart of Silicon Valley. The topic: The role of partners in delivering support services. Participating companies (a group of hardware, software, enterprise, and consumer tech companies) are all experiencing the same trends regarding the role partners in delivering service offerings:
Historically, the technology industry has leveraged outsourcing partners to deliver support services for several reasons:
- Reduce the total cost of delivering support services
- Increase scalability of support resources
- Increase global reach
In the historical model, the low cost provider was often the preferred provider. This has driven outsourcing providers to operate under very slim margin models.
Today, tech companies are finding the historical model no longer meets all of their business needs. Specifically:
- The skills of agents from outsourcing partners are not meeting the demands and expectations of customers.
- The traditional financial models are paying per headcount or transaction volume are not meeting the needs of either party.
- The process of selecting, qualifying, and managing outsourcing partners may need to change.
With this back drop, these companies are meeting to discuss seven aspects of partner management that may be shifting:
From the discussions that have occurred before the summit, it is clear that three of these areas are top of mind for many tech companies:
- The financial models that are in place with service delivery partners.
- The partner selection process
- How partners are successfully enabled to deliver increasingly complex service offerings
This one day session will not provide complete answers for all of these complex questions. However, the fact these service leaders are willing to spend the time together signals the tactics of successful partner management are shifting. Beating service delivery partners into the ground on price may no longer be the predominate success tactic. In fact, this tactic may be accelerating the failure of some partner relationships! Partner enablement and joint financial reward may be the bell weather tactics of success moving forward.
I can’t wait for this session.