Since starting at BlackBerry over 8 years ago and with the incredible evolution of our portfolio I have seen many changes in our Distribution strategy for the better! Ultimately, BlackBerry took the decision to move away from a broadline approach to a more security focused Value Added Distribution model. This has been crucial to BlackBerry’s success and scalability in the Channel across EMEA. Having a Distribution partner as an extension of the BlackBerry team has been important in order for us to grow our Partner base and grow our existing base. So how can Partners ensure that they make the most of the ‘value’ provided by our Distributors. I have asked two of our top VADs to comment on where they see the challenge for our partners today, and how the VAD can best address these challenges.
Adam Davison, Sales and Marketing Director at Cloud Distribution in the UK, and Antonio Tonani, CEO of Clever Distribution, in Italy, two great examples in EMEA of BlackBerry VADs jointly describe the following areas where partners recognize unique value:
1. Solution positioning – Help the partner to qualify and positioning market opportunity and help Partner to get sales success with our presales solution experts. As a VAD you provide also a specific framework to speed up sales cycles and responding to any deep functional and technical questions. Identify new and cross-selling business opportunities through a concrete and validated the approach to the Enterprise needs.
2. Training, Support and update – Educate Sales and Tech staff to build a business around new mobile business, Keep them constantly updated of new changes and new solutions.
3. Vertical Experts – Enabling partners to support in complex project cases providing best in class project resources and methodology. In any type and size of the project, we help the partner to get successful implementations of BlackBerry solutions assuring to the Partner the maximum return of value.
4. Marketing and lead generation support - Promote marketing vertical events with in house specialists, testimonials and concrete live demo, in conjunction with the Partner and BlackBerry.
“Keeping abreast of emerging and disruptive solutions can be time and resource consuming, leaving partners unable to create opportunity through innovation where a ‘business as usual’ mentality takes precedent”; Adam highlighted.” Cloud Distribution takes away this challenge by enabling reseller partners consolidated access to the vast information and opportunity available in the market via easy to use resources and solutions, paired with best-in-class support.”
In regards to the partner enablement, Adam highlights: “Cloud has a host of “Partner Enablement Tools” to assist partners with sales and marketing support services to drive fast and qualified pipeline. Our Cloud Altitude marketing services have been designed to enable an accelerated qualified pipeline, immediate go to market & brand awareness, created specifically with the reseller in mind whilst our Cloud Cover professional and technical and pre-sales services help to build customer confidence in adopting new and disruptive technologies.”
Antonio also reflects that the solution positioning is key in times of evolving markets: “ The new mobile and IoT era has come and has introduced new paradigms and mobile technology. The new technologies are no longer a simple commodity and have to be integrated into large legacy environments. It includes several IT areas to be covered, including Ultra connectivity, Zero Trust, Access Management, Compliancy, User Experiences, Shadow IT and so on. To support this business model, we have changed the distribution paradigm too, this provides a stronger relationship with our partners and offers them outstanding resources, services, methodologies and tools. Moreover, mobility technologies is going to change frequently and it’s very difficult to be constantly followed and catch up. We have built a new partner ecosystem that has recognized the need to work with a reliable and focused VAD in this emerging segment.”
I agree with both Adam and Antonio, for me the VAD has to be the safe pair of hands for our partners leading the way with their knowledge of the technology and the region, their enablement both sales and technical for the partner, their marketing resources and tools helping drive awareness and ultimately building pipeline and revenue for the partner. It is also clear to me that those partners who fully embrace and leverage the ‘Value’ of their Distributor have proven to be the most successful. So I encourage all of our partners to look to your BlackBerry VAD in region and ensure you are engaged and leveraging all that is available to you to maximize your opportunity for growth!