The power dynamic in the UCC solution vendor/partner relationship is in many cases shifting in favor of the partners. UCC transactional/volume-based sales will continue to be heavily influenced by the vendors providing the product and services.

As indicated in my previous blogs, the UCC market is moving from a vendor/product/transaction focus to a partner/solution/customer-success focus. This is driving Unified Communications vendors to significantly leverage indirect channels to be competitive in the complex UCC solutions market. The convergence of traditional communication services (wireline, wireless…) with IT services (Cloud, IOT, AI…) has resulted in comprehensive UCC solutions that are affordable for companies of all sizes. At the same time, this convergence has elevated UCC from being an end user productivity tool to a business transforming platform that enables business success through greater communication and collaboration.

This move from product/service led sales to solution-based sales, is in many cases, shifting the power of the vendor/partner relationship in favor of the partners. They are taking ownership of the true customer relationship. In many case Often the customer may not be aware  which vendors are providing the components of the solution. According to Forrester Research’s Jay McBain, 71% of buyers reach vendor selection at the end of the digital journey. This generally excludes traditional vendor sales processes and demos. The partners for the most part, own the digital journey, providing content, driving search engine optimization and the landing pages for the solution. The partners are generating the leads and determining which vendors components to include in their solutions.

With this newfound power, partners are focusing on long-term relationships with vendors that are vested in their success. This includes the development and evolution of new partner competencies, partner market differentiation through accreditation and certification, and streamlining and automating channel program interactions (partner ease of doing business). These value-based commitment partnerships are a choice for both companies. AchieveUnite worked with the University of Glasgow to survey 150 global IT vendors of IT products and services to understand the value elements that create long term sustainable partnerships and revenue growth. The research demonstrated a strong correlation to this commitment and overall long-term revenue growth, company profitability and sustainable profitable channels.

UCC vendors that embrace this new dynamic in the partner relationship, and focus on ‘value-based commitment partnerships’, will attract and retain quality partners that will deliver long term success.