Two channel veterans are vying to make channel management into a scientific discipline with the launch of a new platform for IT vendors, distributors and resellers.
The "Excellence Platform" is the brainchild of former Trend Micro director Greg Smith and ex-Netscreen, Ciphertrust and Proofpoint channel boss Sandrijn Stead (pictured, below).
The SaaS platform is designed to boost the operational performance of vendors and their partners, with the first suite focused specifically on channel management.
Talking to CRN, Stead said most vendors have often wrongly seen channel management as purely an art, putting too much emphasis on the cult of personality rather than what partners actually need.
The Excellence Platform is designed to allow vendors to rapidly identify performance gaps and weaknesses – as well as strengths – in their channel strategies based on feedback from partners.
"The best channel people tend to be people people," Stead said. "But actually back in HQ, they are saying ‘what is Dave going to do this quarter' – we have amazing relationships but he is just moving bits all over the place. We define the specific avenues where you can start measuring each area and can identify where the weaknesses are."
Stead and Smith founded C-View Technologies in 2010 and a beta version of its .NET platform is already being used by about 20 vendors, including Kaspersky Lab.
Stead claimed the platform, which will soon encompass other suites covering other areas of operational excellence such as product development, can bolster sales even between vendors and their top partners.
"A great example is one of our [vendor] customers was doing €300,000 (£193,000) a month with a significant VAR and everyone thought that everything was hunky dory," he said.
"We did an assessment and got eight or nine people within the VAR and five or six people within the vendor to assess the relationship, and compared the two. We found that the VAR was very unhappy with MDF because the vendor was doing it as a bottom-line rebate and the marketing people were saying ‘where's our cash'. We have now increased that €300,000 by 25 per cent and that has taken two months."
Smith said most of C-View's clients tend to be mid-sized vendors struggling to power beyond the $1bn turnover mark.
"Our initial clients keep hitting this glass ceiling and are asking what keeps bruising their forehead or nose," he said. "The only way to build the business through that point is through operational excellence in every aspect of your business."
A matchmaking element to the platform will be added in the coming months, Smith added.
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