Monday, April 4, 2022

Jay McBain joins Canalys: Industry and career inflection points collide!


We are witnessing a once-in-a-generation shift in the global economy, and partnerships play a leading role. Most business leaders across every industry, of all size firms, and in every corner of the world are considering significant business model shifts. They are realizing that they can't do it alone in the decade of the ecosystem.

I am so excited to join the global team at Canalys - the world's leading analyst firm with a distinct focus on channels, partnerships, alliances, and ecosystems. The 24-year-old market analysis firm strives to guide clients on the  technology industry's future and to think beyond the business models of the past - delivering smart, timely, and actionable market insights to IT, channel and service provider professionals.

In addition to research, the Canalys Forums deliver the industry's largest and most valuable channels events in EMEA, APAC, and LATAM. The firm also offers Candefero, a powerful online channel community delivering a unique blend of real-time feedback, sentiment trackers, polls, and opinion surveys for thousands of technology vendors and distributors. While Canalys has long been active in North America, I look forward to helping expand activities further in this market.

To join a firm with such an impressive pedigree at this critical inflection point in our industry has me the most excited!

We are still in the beginning stages of a genuinely global transformation as every company (in every industry) has been forced to digitize and  become technology companies themselves. The vast majority of professional services firms have also transformed into technology services companies creating exponential partnership opportunities that we wouldn't have fathomed five years ago.

I spend considerable time researching the "watering holes" that channel and ecosystem professionals frequent as they engage with their peers around future trends. I also spend hundreds of hours each year looking at the underlying channel technology that enables this future - with a keen eye on the future product roadmaps.

Combining this with the mountain of data and insights that Canalys delivers globally will produce actionable (and unique) guidance around:

Shifting Go-to-market and business models:

  • Partnering strategies in subscription and consumption models.
  • Leveraging marketplaces (internally and externally) as a competitive advantage.
  • Building robust ecosystems around Product-led growth (PLG) and emerging tech firms.
  • Utilizing distribution, cloud service providers, and technology solutions brokers as ecosystem orchestrators.

Rethinking partner marketing, programs, and measurement

  • Communicating the "multiplier" instead of margins - the total economic value of partnering.
  • Moving beyond a pure resell-model of precious metal tiering to a points system recognizing non-transactional behaviors such as influence, transaction-assist, and long-term retention.
  • Recognizing technology, strategic and business alliances with new measurements around co-innovation, customer value creation, and network effects.
  • Breaking down silos to add channel professionals matrixed throughout the organization - in marketing, sales, customer success, and product.

Investing in technology automation and data-driven program innovation

  • Improving basic program and channel management processes that (for many) are still painfully manual and error-prone.
  • Leveraging clean, consolidated, and real-time channel data to improve speed to market, decision making, and partner experience (PX).
  • Introducing attribution, secure data-sharing, and other ecosystem technology to manage partners at a more granular level and pay performance-based incentives at the point of value versus the point of sale.
  • Moving traditional channel account manager coverage into a more effective community strategy that is repeatable and scalable.

And this is just the beginning.

We have a new digital savvy, consumer-like end-customer with a different psychology, behavior, and buying journey. These new buyers surround themselves with upwards of seven different partners in a customer journey that now never ends.

The pressure is increasing on channel leaders to deliver at a new level of scale, complexity, and personalization and to figure out the people, processes, programs, and underlying technology that will drive competitive advantage in the decade of the ecosystem.