Partner enablement by vendors must improve, Craig Fulton, chief customer officer at ConnectWise, told CPI at IT Nation Connect 2019 in Orlando, FL.
Fulton said ConnectWise has spent 2019 "getting back to basics" with partners in order to facilitate this.
"This year has been about getting back to some of the basics with our partners. ConnectWise had these multiple functions in the business of an onboarding team, implementation team, consulting, education, support, and this year was about aligning those so that there was more of a journey through the company and an experience. We've spent a lot of time working on that this year - we want a community that has a stronger voice so that it puts pressure on everyone [for better partner enablement]."
He urged all the vendors that attend IT Nation Connect to join ConnectWise in working to improve partner enablement, noting that he expects to see a greater demand for it over the next 12 months.
"I think there's going to be a bigger demand next year…and if I'm an MSP and I find a solution that I want to start selling and delivering to my customer and the vendor that created that solution isn't properly enabling me, I can't really do a good job of that. I've got to figure it all out on my own."
He said that there are some vendors that do "a great job of this", such as Microsoft, whom he noted is the longest-running large player in the channel, and with a positive track record of partner enablement, but in the main, he is looking for vendors to offer better enablement for their partners.
"We want them more engaged. We want them bringing their customers to these events, really growing this into a big community, so that we can shape the industry, change the industry and put pressure on people to do better than just providing solutions to partners."
For its part, Fulton said ConnectWise is looking to have a heavy enablement focus at next year's IT Nation Connect, with partner sessions that can already be found at other channel events.
"We see events that do that now pretty well, and we want to incorporate that into the IT Nation. We rely really heavily on our partners right now, and there has to be more of a focus from all the players in the ecosystem, including the vendors, so we all need to be better at enabling. Everyone out there in the pavilion [at IT Nation Connect], including ConnectWise, has got to get focused on enabling partners because there are more solutions now, and partners need to know all of the pieces, from marketing it to selling it to supporting it."
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