"It’s really about how a vendor can make itself more attractive and easy to do business with. That is very often one of the deciding factors that we will look at when making a selection in terms of whether we go to market with that vendor or not."
Greg Harris, Co-Founder & Managing Director of Cloud Distribution, Ltd. has been named a Channeltivity Channel Champion. Cloud Distribution, Ltd is a value-added distributor that specializes in bringing new cloud first, innovative and disruptive cybersecurity, mobile security, networking, and data protection solutions to market.
Channel Champions are selected because they have built thriving relationships with their partners and are growing their channel in exciting ways.
View the video to hear Greg talk about the strategies learned and implemented in his career that have helped him be successful in the channel. He shares what he sees as critical for Vendors to best work with partners like himself.
Channel Champion conversation transcript:
“Hi my name is Greg Harris and I’m Co-Founder and Managing Director of Cloud Distribution Limited. As the name suggests we’re a distributor in the UK. We work with emerging tech vendors, very often from the US, some from Europe, and some from the UK. With those vendors, we help them to establish channels in the UK through the VAR, reseller, and managed service provider communities and help them establish channels routes to market and go-to-market strategies that enable them to succeed in the UK market.
For any partner, for any VAR, for any systems integrator, to consider working with a new vendor, they’ve got to look at it from a risk perspective because generally speaking, they are already selling some vendors technology out into a customer base. So they’re looking for the ability to protect deals that they have found through deal registration. They’re looking for access to marketing resources. They’re looking for the ability to co-brand marketing resources. They are looking for the ability for it to actually, from an operational perspective, to be simple and easy to do business with them.
So it’s really about how a vendor can make itself more attractive and easy to do business with that is very often one of the deciding factors that our partner and ourselves will look at when making a selection in terms of whether we go to market with that vendor or not.
A vendor partner portal is a great way of making that vendor easier to do business with. It provides a consistent interface for the partners. It provides operational consistency for the partners. For instance, we as a vendor, we as a distributor, have to provide a certain amount of information for each and every vendor. And it changes from one to the other. It’s actually difficult for us to make a decision as to and try to second-guess what that vendor wants.
By way of example, we work with a UK vendor called Cybsafe. Cybsafe works with and has a partner portal that is powered by Channeltivity, and they have used the portal to almost fully automate an end to end process for us and our partners to understand the key messaging of Cybsafe, the key marketing of Cybsafe, and it’s incredibly simple to get and download marketing resources. It’s incredibly simple to get and download information from a technical perspective.
On the operational side of things, if you ever go and sit down with our Operations Manager Kim and ask her to name-check the single most easy vendor for us to work with from an operational processing perspective, its Cybsafe. The reason for it is because of the consistency of service that the vendor partner portal actually enables us to deliver to our customers. We’re prompted in terms of the information that they require. We know that every single time the same information is needed, there are no shocks for anybody and therefore they are just incredibly easy to do business with.
But I think the real power of the portal is actually very often it’s the first point of entry that a partner may have in working with that vendor. So it’s a shopfront, it’s the ability for the vendor the show the partners what to expect. To show the resources that are available to them. To talk to them about what the proposition is, why it’s relevant to their customers, how can they sell it, how can I see a single point of entry to get resources?
So for me, the portal, whilst it’s clearly very important to have a human element to anything relationship between vendor, distributor, and partner, the portal basically allows us to put resources in front of partners so they can get to the information as quickly as physically possible, but frankly therefore just maximizing the amount of time that they’re selling that vendors products or services.
For me, it is about getting consistent information as quickly as possible. That’s relevant in front of the right party. So yeah, I think it’s a critical part of any go to market strategy.”