A blueprint for successful partnering.
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Partnerships have evolved during the last decade from being the 'nice to have' to becoming the 'must have' to survive in all industries across the world. There are many different definitions of 'partnerships' and 'alliances' but most researchers, authors and experts in this field agree that at the core of true partnering or alliance agreements lies shared: benefits, risks and approaches. To avoid market share and profitability deterioration, solutions providers must initiate programs to improve their strategic position in a focused set of partner programs. Microsoft Corporation is the worlds leading software company with 96% of all revenue earned being billed through their partners. The company currently faces poor partner satisfaction ratings and has come to the realisation in that they have to a large extent, ignored the needs of their strategic and 'managed' partners. A blueprint for successful partnering is key to any company looking to differentiate itself, create a competitive advantage and become the industry leader in the offering the 'best of breed' partner experience. This is why the identification and implementation of a defined, successful partnering agreement blueprint is required in order to drive the Microsoft business strategy around the 'Partner' experience forward. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the current Microsoft engagement models in driving partner satisfaction in the managed partner space, to determine what the barriers and best practices are, pertaining to successful partnering in the corporate arena and to establish if it is feasible to identify and implement a blueprint that can be used in the corporate arena that promotes successful alliances/partnerships. Recommendations to implement the said blueprint are also be made in order to guide readers through the process.