There are a few best-in-class Partner programs in the Tech Industry.
I will talk about some of these below in terms of why they are interesting, or what may be unique about them. This is far from an exhaustive list, but we can always learn something from the people who “do” partnerships the best.
Not many companies have embraced partners at the scale that Microsoft has.
Did you know that 95 percent of Microsoft’s commercial revenue flows directly through their partner ecosystem? With more than 7,500 partners joining that ecosystem every month, partner growth and partner innovation are directly fueling their growth. Their IP co-sell program, now has thousands of co-sell ready partners that generated an incredible $8 billion in contracted partner revenue between 2017 and 2019.
So how does Microsoft support such a large partnership business?
Partners are are key stakeholder
Microsoft trusts and supports its Partner ecosystem, and provides lots of training and enablement. It's clear they are important to their strategy.
Many options to Partner together
Partners come in all shapes and sizes in this ecosystem. From app developers who list in their marketplaces, to more traditional services businesses, ISVs and GSIs, there is a program and a way for them to collaborate with Microsoft.
Infrastructure supports their programs
From Partner Portals to co-marketing and opportunity tracking, there is likely some custom-built infrastructure to support the initiative. This is an area that seems to receive on-going investment, and makes it easy for partners to get started.
Salesforce is another giant Partnership ecosystem which includes:
- The Trailblazer Community is a network of 15 million people across the Salesforce ecosystem who help each other learn new skills and succeed with Salesforce.
- Trailhead has empowered nearly 3.5 million people to learn in-demand skills for the future of work. With Trailhead, learners can skill up for free from anywhere and earn globally-recognized credentials for careers in the Salesforce ecosystem.
- The Salesforce Talent Alliance is an initiative that connects partners to job candidates trained on Salesforce via Trailhead and brings new talent into the fast-growing ecosystem.
- Launched in 2006, the Salesforce AppExchange is an enterprise cloud marketplace, with over 6,700 partner listings and more than 9 million installs.
- The Salesforce partner ecosystem includes consulting partners, independent software vendors (ISVs), and resellers that bring the power of apps and expertise to solve customer challenges.
What do partners appreciate about the Salesforce ecosystem?
Distribution and customer Access
Salesforce makes it easy to get partner products in front of customers. 90% of the Fortune 500 and 91% of Salesforce customers rely on partner apps and expertise found on AppExchange.
They invested in their developer platform via the Heroku acquisition
Heroku provides complementary tools that round out the capabilities of the Salesforce Platform. With Heroku, you can take advantage of both the tight Salesforce data integration and the ability to use open-source languages and tools to build your own data processing, warehousing, or archiving applications.
Growth via Salesforce
Salesforce has seen phenominal growth over the past decade and partners have grown along-side it.
Hubspot launched an Agency Partner program in 2010 but has since expanded into Sales, Solution and Platform Partners.
The revenue opportunity for HubSpot’s ecosystem is forecast to grow from $7.4 billion in 2021 to $17.9 billion in 2025.
The ecosystem that supports HubSpot customers with add-on products and services is more than five times bigger than HubSpot today and is expected to be six and a half times bigger by 2025. [IDC Data]
The Atlassian Marketplace reached an exciting milestone in 2021: surpassing $2 billion in lifetime sales. It took their Marketplace seven years to reach its first $1 billion in sales. But the new milestone came just two years later!
Atlassian is working on a number of different initiatives to support it's developer ecosystem:
- Forge - a new Developer Platform
Forge helps developers build secure, reliable, scalable apps for cloud. By allowing developers to build and host these apps on Atlassian’s infrastructure, Atlassian is taking the first steps toward simplifying the app development process and ensuring security and reliability among cloud apps.
- Venture Fund which invests in ecosystem developers
In 2020 Atlassian announced the launch of Atlassian Ventures – a $50M fund focused on strengthening their ecosystem via capital investments.
- Cloud Fortified ecosytem program
With the Cloud Fortified program and badge, Atlassian is making it easy for customers to identify enterprise-ready cloud apps with additional security, reliability, and support.
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