Huawei Enterprise Business Group’s Vice President of Partners & Alliances discusses how their commitment to working closely with channel partners has delivered consistent sales growth and a sustainable ecosystem.
Despite mounting challenges in 2019, Huawei managed to navigate the year's difficulties by remaining committed to creating value for customers and working closely with partners. Indeed, its annual sales revenue is estimated to top CNY850 billion (US$124 billion) for the year, representing roughly 18 percent growth year-on-year.
For the Enterprise Business Group (EBG), 86 percent of revenue was generated from cooperation with partners. By the end of 2019, Huawei had established over 28,000 partnerships worldwide, with an annual growth rate above 10 percent for the eighth consecutive year. In 2020, together with partners, we will continue to build a prosperous ecosystem for the intelligent era.
One Goal: Win Together
To survive, a company must be able to compete in the market. To thrive, however, cooperation is also needed, which is perfectly encapsulated by the old adage: if you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.
Technologies and business models will never stop evolving, and enterprises need to adapt to the ever-changing environment through digital transformation. The requirements for digital transformation, however, are unique for every enterprise, which makes it impossible for any single Information and Communications Technology (ICT) company to handle the challenge wholly independently. Instead, ICT companies need to cooperate with each other for long-term development.
Huawei's core values are customer-centricity and dedication, as we aspire to create the most value for our customers. Huawei wouldn't be able to survive if we only pursued success for ourselves, when cooperating with partners to provide joint products, solutions, and services.
Huawei's goal isn't to maximize profits, rather it is to maintain profits at a reasonable level, since Huawei's long-term success is dependent on the success of its partners and customers. For this reason, our goal goes beyond winning alone: We aim to win together, with our partners and customers.
Two Driving Forces: ‘Platform + Ecosystem' Strategy with Seven Types of Partner
Huawei is committed to achieving mutually beneficial outcomes with partners in an integrated ecosystem. Our ICT, global marketing, as well as our training and service platforms, are all open to our partners. Our competitive advantage comes from our ability to jointly develop innovative solutions and Go-To-Market (GTM) strategies with our partners to launch products and solutions ahead of the competition. Meanwhile, we are also focused on promoting the development of industry standards, reducing the costs of digital transformation, and expanding the industry market with partners to achieve sustainable growth.
- Platform Strategy
Digital transformation affects industries large and small. Industry pioneers will combine their wealth of experience and data with ICT to reshape their production and service processes, and become platform-based enterprises that serve the entire industry.
Huawei is in a unique position to help enterprises with digital transformation. Using our technical expertise in fields such as cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI), Huawei offers innovative, differentiated, and leading ICT hardware and software infrastructure. The resulting platform is open, scalable, ﬂexible, and secure, and further boosted by seamless cloud-pipe-device synergy.
As enterprises undergo transformation and become platform-based, they need to focus on their strengths and innovating their business, without being burdened by the complexities of ICT software and hardware systems. To help enterprises realize this transformation, Huawei has developed the Horizon Digital Platform, applying the extensive experience Huawei has accumulated in digital transformation and through cooperation with industry-leading enterprises.
- Ecosystem Strategy
As described in the 2020 partner ecosystem overview, Huawei's partner ecosystem consists of seven types of partner: Sales Partners, Solution Partners, Service Partners, Investment & Operation and Financing Partners, Talent Alliance Partners, Social Partners, and Industry Partners (the latter being a relatively new addition).
By the end of 2019, Huawei had more than 22,000 Sales Partners, 1,200 Solution Partners, 4,200 Service Partners, 1,000 Talent Alliance Partners, and 80 Investment & Operation and Financing partners. The achievements of EBG are made possible only by the hard work and dedication from ecosystem partners across industries and domains.
- Sales Partners, also known as channel partners, include Distributors, Global Partners (GPs), Value-added Partners (VAPs), Gold Partners, Silver Partners, and Authorized Partners. They work with Huawei on routes-to-market and sell Huawei products, solutions, and services to end-customers. Huawei is actively expanding its scale of cooperation with these partners, while improving their sales capabilities and developing core channels for Named Accounts (NAs).
- Solution Partners include Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), Independent Hardware Vendor (IHVs), Consulting Vendors, and System Integrators (SIs). They develop or deploy joint solutions with Huawei or Huawei's ecosystem partners. Solution Partners play a critical role in the internationalization of the Horizon Digital Platform, especially in the intelligent campus, Intelligent City, and smart transportation domains.
- Upon receiving certification, Service Partners become Certified Service Partners (CSPs). Granted by EBG, certification verifies a channel partner's capabilities. It measures a partner's service qualifications and serves as a basis for incentive policies and management. To help service partners, we will focus on improving their capabilities, encouraging independent delivery, and increasing their service sales proportion.
- Investment & Operation and Financing Partners are further classiﬁed as either Investment & Operation Partners, or as Financing Partners. They provide investment, operation, financing, and leasing services to Huawei's customers or partners, helping them meet ﬁnancing requirements. Huawei will focus on ensuring that the funding requirements of distributors, VAPs, Gold and Silver Partners, and customers are met, aligning with Huawei's strategy of building an open, cooperative, and mutually beneﬁcial ecosystem. Strengthening the overall operations capabilities of Investment & Operations and Financing Partners will enrich Huawei's ecosystem as well as stimulate the digital economy as a whole.
- Talent Alliance Partners provide exchanges of talent, training, capability improvement, and other services for Huawei's industry chain. At this stage, Talent Alliance partners mainly include Huawei Authorized Learning Partners (HALPs) and Huawei ICT Academies. Working with Talent Alliance partners, we aim to train 1,000,000 ICT professionals in order to meet the talent supply requirements of digital transformation.
- Social Partners include standards organizations, industry associations, and industry research institutes. They help improve Huawei's brand awareness and inﬂuence across industries, directly or indirectly. For the development of Social Partners, we will continue to establish partnerships with standards organizations and industry associations, expanding Huawei's global network.
- Industry Partners include hardware and software component partners, and they use modules such as Kunpeng and digital platforms to help build the commercial service capabilities of Huawei components. To enhance the development of Industry Partners, Huawei plans to coordinate resources to develop computing ecosystems for Kunpeng and Ascend in priority regions.
While remaining customer-centric, Huawei is dedicated to building sustainable ecosystems that bring mutual beneﬁts to partners. By fully making the most of our partners' strengths, we will continue to expand the industry market and form a community with common interests that works, grows, and transforms together.
Three Rules for the Enterprise Business
Huawei released three mandatory rules for all employees: support the attainment of the mid- and long-term business goals of the enterprise business, enhance the development of ecosystem partners, and build a sustainable ecosystem.
- Adhere to the ‘Being Integrated' Strategy
The ‘being integrated' strategy is Huawei's corporate-level strategy for enterprise customers. It is a business model that has proven suitable for Huawei, and serves as a form of self-restraint for the company. The strategy must be observed by all employees serving enterprise customers, not just by EBG staff.
This ‘being integrated' strategy enables Huawei to avoid competition with partners and maintains focus, instead, on empowering them. By adopting this strategy, we hope that partners can assume more responsibilities for customer-facing services such as sales and delivery.
In such an arrangement, partners are expected to play an important role in the business, helping with customer relationship management, business consulting and network design, industry application and joint solution development, solution integration, engineering implementation, post-sales services, investment and financing, operations, talent development, and standards development.
By empowering partners, Huawei helps them to fully exploit their competitive advantages in industry knowledge, customer coverage, system integration, the customization of industry applications, and the localization of services.