Presented by BlueCloud
“To thrive in a world where data is the foundation of every product and every service, data and analytics companies have to unite,” says Bill Tennant, CRO of BlueCloud. “Data product companies need to rely on networks of partners to expand capabilities and successfully deliver on the data-driven goals and challenges of their end customer.”
It’s especially crucial in a world where the modern data stack is playing an increasingly vital role for customers seeking the competitive advantage that comes from data-driven insights. But while “data-driven” is a common term, it’s also an approach that still poses significant roadblocks for many organizations.
“Unlocking the value of data is critical, but many companies lack the skilled resources able to handle end-to-end data access, especially when it comes to the increasingly large data sets that harbor deep insights,” Tennant says. “Digging insights out of that data, when you’re talking about 40 billion rows of transactions, is the challenge most companies are looking to solve.”
With a best-of-breed vendor and service provider alliance, companies’ most urgent challenge — accessing the power of data — can be eliminated through end-to-end product delivery, support for strategic initiatives and faster project implementation. Joint insight can help companies develop use cases that directly impact the bottom line. And it’s all supported with centralized data management and automation, scalability, integration and technical skill, and the insight necessary to pull off innovative data initiatives.
Tennant points to BlueCloud’s strategic partnerships with cloud data warehouse provider Snowflake and data analytics company ThoughtSpot, which let them pair their best-in-class data products with its own end-to-end delivery, expand their reach, shared innovation and more.
“Partnerships between technology companies in the world of data and business intelligence provide customers with an array of benefits that ultimately result in better solutions and outcomes for customers,” Tennant says. “That includes access to a wider range of products and services, improved integration and interoperability, greater innovation, increased efficiency and cost-effectiveness and access to specialized expertise.”
Here’s a look at how partnerships are driving market value and revenue while helping modernize the data stack.
From customer care to product innovation
For product companies, an implementation partner can offer invaluable insight into the modern data stack, and how customer needs are evolving — which leads to even more new products, services and competencies for those companies. Tennant points to a solution aimed at easing the staffing crisis in nursing where retention has become a primary concern for healthcare organizations.
To measure staff sentiment, organizations can use regular surveys. But today, with cooperation between product and services companies, data can also be pulled in from technologies like wearables, and pushed into a centralized database for healthcare leaders to action.
Unlocking value for end customers
When a company demands more from its data stack, partners can work together to uncover more capabilities. For instance, in basic financial analytics, data is pulled from multiple sources to align and reconcile reports, which are delivered to the end user — and it’s a fairly straightforward process. But when a company wants to start looking at what-if scenarios and predictive revenue analytics based on current market conditions, the complexity jumps by several magnitudes. In this case, BlueCloud might add the ability to create, consume and operationalize data-driven insights by bringing ThoughtSpot to the table.
“A lot of product companies can sell a vision for a customer’s data, but you need best-of-breed partners to actually implement it, and do it successfully every single time,” Tennant says. “Without partners, it’s a real struggle to innovate for your customers outside a core competency.”
A partner network provides quality support and guides joint end customers through any data and analytics project. To deliver on their product’s promise, product companies need highly technical, architect-level experts versed in how a product functions in a company’s tech infrastructure. Partnering with service companies means being able to tap that expertise in a way that improves both the delivery and the end customer’s long-term success with a product. Conversely, a service company can improve implementations with in-depth vendor knowledge and experience at hand.
“Data and analytics products are change agents. They can transform a company when they’re implemented correctly,” Tennant explains. “A delivery company associated with a specific product has a partner that knows how to take advantage of a modern data stack, and in return offers the ability to drill down to the real needs of the company’s business, achieve value and find new avenues of opportunity and innovation together.”
Direct impact on sales
In the SaaS space, a vendor’s sales team has a high level of technical expertise, experience and knowledge — their product is their bread and butter, and they know it inside and out. With a few core vendor partners, a service company has that in-depth knowledge at their fingertips, and can offer joint customers the technologies they know will slot most effectively into their needs. Partners can also provide prospecting, and net new customer opportunities for both companies.
“A good partner is strategically focusing on the market,” Tennant says. “The sales team sees immense value from that, because doors to multiple new areas are opening, with new accounts as well as existing accounts.”
Partnership in action
ThoughtSpot has been working with BlueCloud since its inception, says Kuntal Vahalia, SVP WW Channels & Alliances at ThoughtSpot, and the partnership forms a cornerstone of their customer success strategy.
“We work with our partner community to deliver the most value possible to our end customers,” says Vahalia. “It’s all about meeting customers where they are and delivering world-class customer care, listening to their pain points and needs, and co-innovating to rapidly decrease their time to market.”
From the beginning of the customer journey, BlueCloud helps the ThoughtSpot team solve customers’ pain points and deliver impactful outcomes, Vahalia says, by navigating the account, evangelizing, providing intel to its team around challenges and sourcing new use cases and opportunities to expand its footprint. Once a new customer has signed on, BlueCloud provides a seamless transition.
“Their team is exceptional at ensuring the customer has a successful experience,” he says. “BlueCloud helps our customers drive adoption across their organization by providing mentorship that helps drive the customer’s new data operating model, kicking off the transformation into data fluent cultures and organizations at high velocity.”
Building channel partner alliances
In these partnerships, both companies are earning revenue and delivering faster results, Tennant says, but when entering a relationship, expectations must be clarified and the shared program must be clear. It’s also critical to provide support, resources and onboarding, to position the partnership to offer value.
“If you’re bringing a partner on board and that partner is only coming with their hand out asking to be given deals they can implement for you, you’re missing something,” Tennant explains. “It’s key to define parameters out of the gate, and select the right partners to invest.”
Valhalia agrees, saying, “Channel partners should be integrated into core go-to market motions across the customer lifecycle. It’s important to treat channel partners as an extension of your company as opposed to a transactional partner executing resell paperwork. Fierce collaboration — and solving for outcomes – offers the best partnership annuity for the vendor, the channel partner and the end customers.”
And size does matter — some companies number their partners in the thousands, but how do you strategically align to 1,000 partners? It can result in a lack of attention, a lack of opportunities, and a partnership in name only, essentially. Focus on the partners with products you believe in, that align with your own company goals.
“If you have only a few partnerships, especially if they’re exclusive, there’s an element of trust and relationship and give-and-take,” Tennant says. “That allows you to make sure your customers are taken care of, and your team is growing.”
Learn more here about strategic partnerships and how they can open up new opportunities while improving everyone’s bottom line.
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