As a precursor to IDC's Channels and Alliances 2013 partnering predictions report and webcast on February 6th 2013, we will be sharing a sneak preview of each of the top 10 predictions throughout January. This blog post looks at the sixth of those predictions: The Disconnect Between Vendor Aspirations and Partner Realities Will Drive Program Simplification.
In 2013, IDC expects to see at least one vendor resolve to be the easiest for partners to deal with. Bloated partner programs are an inevitable result of honest efforts by vendors to address new or evolving go-to-market strategies. IDC believes that we have now reached the tipping point where vendors will start to move back to the good old days of simpler, easier to consume, and more agile partner programs. The impetus for this is not just the overhead burden associated with the care and feeding of a complex program: partners also suffer complexity fatigue. As much as vendors want to maximize coverage by expecting partners to "sell the whole stack" and certify in the complete breadth of program qualifications on offer, the reality is that most partners can only focus on a few key areas.
That's why there will be an increased emphasis on competency or specialization focus within partner programs, with the aim of allowing participants to find their own niche to align their business focus with the most relevant aspects of the vendor's products and solutions. This will be easier for vendors with a small set of core competencies than for breadth vendors. The latter may need to renovate their programs to ensure they provide appropriate value for partners that are focused on only one specialization or a very a small set of specializations. The key here is to make it easier for partners to see where they fit and to navigate the resources that have most leverage for their particular business niche.