The Challenges Facing Enterprise Data Center Leaders Today – trusted advisors are more important than ever (part 3)

Parting Advice for Partners who want to serve the Enterprise Data Center Cloud Opportunities

In part 1, we explored the specific challenges facing the data center leaders and the incredible need for trusted advisors. In part 2, we discussed the specific asks Data Center leaders must have of their trusted advisors. Now let’s talk about clear recommendations for partners serving the Data Center Cloud Opportunities.

  1. Embrace change and support both cloud and traditional models. Offer clients choices, pros and cons, and options in each category.
  2. Partner with vendors and other relevant players to complete solution and leverage those vendors brand equity; and their resources. Help bridge the product vendors and combine those to offer complete solutions to the Data Center Leader.
  3. Change the dialogue with customers/prospects; assist the Data Center leader to communicate with the many stakeholders he/she serves. Help them talk about business requirements, understand security concerns, address board level and CEO issues, and help them with likely talent and hiring challenges.
  4. Fill in the middle glue and together deliver the needed IT and cloud strategies for the customer. Offer them a suite of services that really bridge the product to the customer. Where possible have the pre-sales consulting all the way through to customer service and contract management.
  5. Create new offers to extend/augment/enhance existing products and services. Innovation is essential. This landscape is changing so quickly that companies must have a partner innovating and offering them new services.
  6. Understand the vertical market the customers operate in and the regulatory requirements, the financial requirements and the implications of that vertical on the client’s needs.
  7. Start embedding vendor solutions into your own product offerings – i.e. augment existing partner offerings by adding vendor offerings to partners existing services. Meet with your vendor partners regularly, continue to quantify the solution, and create joint value propositions(more powerful than vendor or partner individually) that solve enterprise customer problems.
  8. Continue offering joint selling and marketing with the vendor. Evolve the conversations and include different stakeholders in the customer like their product teams to ensure relevance and value.
  9. Focus on how you can further integrate solutions and embed technology into the Data Center, and/or the Customer’s business. Helping your customers’ meet their objectives is the ultimate trusted advisor.

We are confident that with these practices, you will not only maintain trusted advisor status with the Data Center Leaders and Influencers, but also enable them to influence customer buying decisions, realize new revenue opportunities, have happy customers, and accelerate their own business growth.

About The Authors

Christopher Rajiah is a renowned and respected Worldwide Senior Sales Executive, most recently serving in the capacity of Vice President of Worldwide Channel Sales & Alliances at Equinix. In this role, his responsibilities included the development and mentorship of a global channel sales and partner strategy initiative which was designed to expand the breadth of opportunities and capabilities of the company, and to disrupt and thrive within the Enterprise market. Along this vein, he owned accountability and oversight for the vision & execution of the global partner program, and for engaging new log acquisition, bookings growth, revenue, and profitability. All centered on recurring revenue models.

Theresa Caragol is founder and CEO of TCC- Achieve Unite, LLC a strategic advisory firm that provides business acceleration services to global enterprises including partner and channel development, go-to-market planning, M&A channel integration and executive learning forums. She has more than 20 years’ experience in building and managing multi-million dollar indirect channel teams and strategic alliance business and programs from inception to sales success. Prior to founding TCC, Theresa held senior executive roles at Extreme Networks, Ciena and Nortel. She also has co-founded a Channel Tech Industry Think Tank with Penton / Informa designed to influence and support the industry’s digital transformation.

Theresa is passionate about coaching employees and mentoring young people into STEM fields. She is honored to be one of 15 women selected for the First Leadership Foundry in Washington, DC – an organization dedicated to mentoring and recruiting women for positions on corporate boards. Theresa has received numerous IT industry channel accolades recognizing her work including: 2014 CRN Top 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs, 2013 CRN Top 10 Next Generation Channel Leaders, 2015 Golden Bridge Gold Award for Best Program Leader.
Theresa graduated with honors from Virginia Tech University. She has an MBA from the University of Wisconsin’s Lubar School of Business, and holds an Executive Master’s degree in Leadership from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.