Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Advent of Relationship Ecosystems

Is the tech world moving away from a hierarchial partner relationship model, to a networked relationship system? In discussions with both start up software firms and the larger ISVs, I have seen the evolution of partnerships and alliances moving from '1 - 1' partnerships to 'Many - Many' relationships.....

(this is not "Manny being Manny" as they say in in Manny Ramirez, slugger for the BoSox)

Certainly SAP has stepped out in front with the relationship ecosystem concept: "Industry Value Network" refers to the SAP / partner ecosystem designed for complete and integrated solutions into specific vertical markets. How is a industry value network different than a ISV partner program?

Core areas include:

- Strategic Alliances with key platform & technology vendors
- Niche and vertical specific vendors fill in core white spaces
- Go to Market strategy is completely aligned
- Most importantly, there are inter relationships developed among partners, so that the partner ecosystem in networked and not hierarchial

Obviously, the challenges of developing and managing such an ecosystem are higher in the initial recruitment and developmental phases, and do require a more global and inter-networked management model. For smaller ISVs, the key is to identify those specific white spaces in the business solution and what specific tier 'n' partners to develop, and not worry about obtaining a direct relationship with the 'gorilla' .

No comments: