5 Keys to Evolving Your Channel Business in the Cloud Era


Aurelien Mottier
Reading Time: 3 minutes



5 Keys to Evolving Your Channel Business in the Cloud Era

Aurelien Mottier

CEO at Operatix

Timm Hoyt

VP of Global Partner Sales & Alliances at Druva

Let’s talk about resistance to the cloud.

Cloud’s a dream for developers & vendors.

But resellers, distributors, and customers don’t always see new tech that way. That’s a problem for vendors selling cloud services and products. 

So, we asked Timm Hoyt — VP of Global Partner Sales & Alliances at Druva — how cloud vendors can overcome cloud resistance, and maximize their channel partnerships. He came on the B2B Revenue Acceleration podcast to give us 5 keys he uses at Druva to maximize his company’s channel partnerships with cloud.

The first 3 keys specifically deal with channel partner and vendor interaction. Essentially, Timm says a reseller is incredibly successful when they are:

1) Focused on the customer

2) Up to date on the newest technology and

3) Able to intersect their core value prop with customer needs.

1: Find channel partners who are more focused on customers than margin models

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Ultimately, the most important lens to look through is in the eye of the end user.

Timm Hoyt

Your strongest channel partners will always be those who have an extreme customer-focused mentality — not those partners who attempt to lead with their own interests, such as margin model, or only stay in their selling “comfort zone.”

So, if you are a cloud vendor, you want to avoid those partners who:

  • Are afraid deal size will go down with cloud
  • Are more comfortable selling traditional products & services than innovation
  • Believe cloud doesn’t fit in with their margin model

Truly, there’s only one type of question that matters — What services and products are the most beneficial for the end user?

When choosing the right channel partners, look for partners who have the above question as their only focus.

2: Use channel partners who are rigorously up-to-date with evolving technology

Look for partners who are constantly up-to-date on ever-evolving technologies and deliver those best-fit solutions to their customers.

The market provides well-versed consulting partners endless innovations they can provide to their customers. When resellers see themselves as a teammate and co-achiever with their customers in helping them achieve their goals, they become true customer advocates versus simply vendor resellers.

For a true customer advocate, cloud is just the next step in how a customer’s business is evolving.

3: (For channel partners) Discover the intersection between your core skillset & customer needs that are ripe for early adoption & adaptation

Here’s a tip specifically for channel partners:

In the cloud era, resellers should look at the core value prop they offer: Is it business process consulting? Technology experience? 

When you find the intersection between your core skillset and business outcomes for your customer — that’s where the magic happens. Oh, and keep in mind this one caveat: You want to connect your core value prop with customer workloads and use cases that are ripe for early adaptation and adoption

Image: Venn diagram (2 circles) one titled “Core value prop/skills” and the other circle titled “Customer use cases.” The intersecting area should read “Ready for early adoption.” Here’s an example of a blank one that would work.

4: Understand the evolving role of distributors in the cloud era:

Certainly, the role of the distributor has changed with cloud. You won’t find pallets of boxes being shipped and delivered on-prem anymore; their expertise in supply chain logistics and warehousing aren’t needed in this new era.

The role of distributor is being redefined and re imagined as we speak, but for starters:

Distributors have valuable intellectual property with their trusted network of reselling partners and consulting partners. A vendor focused on product development likely probably hasn’t built up this network.

5: Help end-users overcome change resistance

Humans resist change, and that’s one of the main reasons Timm observes organizations stop short of going fully to cloud. 

To overcome the hesitancy of change and drive adoption, cloud champions should find first shoot for low-hanging fruit by asking, What workloads make the most sense?

To find those workloads and use cases, determine:

  • Is there a way to dramatically lower costs?
  • Can we use cloud to increase the experience and value of a service?
  • Will adopting cloud re-provision human capital into a more valuable knowledge worker?

Wrapping up for cloud champions

For cloud vendors:

If you find the right channel partners who are focused on the customer & up to date with technology, you’re headed in a successful partnership direction.

For channel partners:

Intersect your core skill sets and value proposition with the needs of your end-users.

Any cloud advocate: 

  1. Distributors have evolving value.
  2. Look for low-hanging fruit to help people overcome cloud hesitancy.

This post is based on an interview with Timm Hoyt from Druva.

More on Channel 

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About Operatix

Operatix is a Sales Acceleration company specialized in supporting B2B Software vendors to identify new revenue streams, increase qualified sales pipeline, and accelerate channel development across Europe and North America. Operatix has a wealth of experience in working with the biggest tech players worldwide as well as a multitude of emerging software vendors.

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