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State of Partnerships 24 on-demand and key takeaways

Thomas Harrison
by Thomas Harrison - April 2, 2024

In an era where artificial intelligence (AI) and marketplaces are transforming Partnership Ecosystems at an unprecedented pace, understanding the dynamics of our Partners has never been more crucial.  Now in its fourth year, we are excited to welcome back Jay McBain, a renowned figure in the partnership space, as we delve into the latest trends, insights, and predictions that are shaping the future of partnerships.

Featuring insight from:

  • Jay McBain, Chief Analyst at Canalys
  • Nicole Dezen, CVP, Global Partner Solutions at Microsoft
  • Tom Perry, CEO of Sherpa


Below you can:

  • Watch the webinar on-demand
  • Read a breakdown of our key takeaways 
  • Speak to an expert to discuss Partnership Marketing


Watch the webinar on-demand:



Key takeaways:

Below we've pulled together some of the key insights from the webinar:

What is the service opportunity of Generative AI? 

Generative AI is unlocking a $158 billion market in managed services over five years. Vendors can’t do everything though and so there is an opportunity for Partners to build solutions, practices and skill-up around AI to access the Billions in opportunities. There are already incredible success stories like Microsoft GitHub Copilot enabling developers to code 55% faster and feel 75% more fulfilled at work. As the industry evolves, Partners must innovate and build AI expertise to capture this growing opportunity, amidst a competitive landscape.  


Competing for attention and business in a growing market: 

In an industry growing at 6%, double the global economy, we need to collaborate and support Partners to stay competitive. Making enablement and onboarding relevant for different Partner types. Tom emphasizes the importance of Partner enablement, suggesting, “You probably need to recruit less than you think,” pointing to the potential within existing channels to drive revenue and growth. By examining Partner value propositions and seeking latent opportunities within your existing channel (it definitely exists), we can kick-start Partners to their first revenue by supporting their marketing ambitions.  


The growth of Marketplaces: 

Cloud marketplaces have rapidly outpaced expectations, reaching a $45 billion valuation by the end of 2023 and showcasing an 84% growth rate. A significant 91% of partners observe their customers beginning their tech explorations within these marketplaces, making it a primary tool for many. The next step here is supporting our Partners to grow on these platforms, enabling them, driving engagement and encouraging them through this journey. We need to map some of the old ways of channel support into marketplaces to make the accessible.  


Importance of data and Partner Enablement: 

Nicole underscores data's crucial role at Microsoft, highlighting the importance of accurate data handling as mission-critical due to the "garbage in, garbage out" challenge. In navigating complex Partnership Ecosystems, combining quantitative data with partner insights becomes essential for informed decision-making. Tom notes the shift towards sophisticated data analysis, beyond just revenue metrics, to predictive indicators of growth potential. The introduction of EdisonAI, leveraging AI and machine learning, synthesizes data from disparate systems to assess partner performance and alignment comprehensively. This strategy focuses on identifying partners' growth potential and investment areas, moving beyond traditional tier evaluations to a more nuanced understanding of partner capabilities and alignment, informed by both data and direct feedback. 

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