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Channel partnerships, what makes them work?


Steve Barclay
January 3, 2023

Channel partnerships can be tricky to navigate. When we launched eve Networks, we knew exactly how we wanted to work with Partners, and the types of Partners we wanted to work with.

Between the team, we’ve got a lot of experience in this, so we’re confident in what works and how to make it successful for both sides.

We recently spoke to Steve Barclay, Managing Director, and Stuart Burdett, Head of Sales, to hear exactly what it is they think makes a good partnership.

Steve Barclay
Stuart Burdett

What are the key things you look for in potential channel partnerships?

Stuart: When it comes to channel partnerships, we’re looking for those who we can be proud to work with and vice versa. For us, this is very much a two-way relationship. The ideal Partners for us aren’t out there trying to offer hundreds of solutions, what they’re looking to deliver is a quality solution, the best solution.

They don’t shy away from who they partner with, because they hold real value in the partnership.  

Steve: I agree with Stuart, completely. What we also look for are Partners who have a proven track record of competency and who are service driven.

They care about the service they offer and want to find additional ways to add value to their customers.

They know what they’re doing and are looking for a robust Partner who they can work with.

In your experience, what are the signs of good Channel Partnerships?

Stuart: It’s the  channel partners that want to know everything about the product, and our technical competence before anything else. They are the ones where I know it’s a good fit.

Steve: That’s so true. It’s the Partners who are driven by the quality of the product, they ask questions, they want to know all the capabilities and how the product is going to evolve even further in the future. They’re excited about the possibilities. They’re the ones you sit down with and think, yes, this is going to work!

All of that to me, shows that they’re looking at a long-lasting partnership, an investment for their business.

How have Channel Partnerships relationships changed in the time you have been in the industry?

Steve: Partners have more choice than ever. Voice and connectivity suppliers are everywhere. The landscape is far bigger than it was when I started in the industry.

The downside of this for Partners is that with more choice comes more confusion. Who to go with, what fits your business, are they a good match etc.

I suppose the flip side of that, is that loyalty tends to decrease when there is more choice. This isn’t a unique problem for our industry, it’s something we see across all types of industries now.

We’re looking for long-term Partners to work together with, not quick wins.

Stuart: Absolutely agree. And that overwhelming choice also means that some potential Partners are put off because it feels like there is too much out there.  

There’s a lot of noise so it’s tricky for them to see through it all to pick the supplier that will really work for them.

Steve: I think the other big change is also the offering. The technology that is offered now is much more advanced than it used to be.

I think that is the differentiator between different suppliers. How are they using technology to make what they offer simpler and easier for the Partner and for the end customers.

That’s why we have invested a lot of time into our portal. We know the challenges and frustrations that exist and have designed, and continue to evolve our portal to be easy to do business with – making the most of new technology.

Stuart: Just a final point on this one, I think a big change I have seen over the years is in the end customers.

Their awareness and knowledge of what is out there, and how it works has changed a lot.

20 years ago, you could have gone in to see most of your customers and told them exactly what they need. Now, they will tell you what they need. The narrative has changed and it’s just about listening and working with them to deliver the best solutions.

So, you sign a new Partner. What happens next?

Stuart: The exciting bit! When a Partner signs up, straight away we get moving with the onboarding. This really does change depending on who the Partner is and the level of onboarding that they need.

We have worked with Partners who are incredibly self-sufficient and need little onboarding to get started, and others who want more support to help get them started.

We’re ready and equipped for either – that’s what we do really well.

Steve: Beyond the onboarding, a key thing for us is to drive efficiencies wherever possible.

We want to empower people. If they need access to something for their role, let’s give them the ability to do that. Let’s not overcomplicate things.

The onboarding process is just the beginning. Like we said at the start, this is a partnership, so we’ll be there when you need us, and we’ll keep you up to date with legislations and changes in the industry.

Want to find out more about our Channel Partnerships? Head here more all the details. 

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