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Energize Your Partner Ecosystem


Tech Partner Ecosystems Can Be Designed for any Stage of Growth.

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in strategic thinking about why and when a technology company should consider building or joining a partner ecosystem:

  • A network of implementation, vertical, complementary partners,

  • Third-party reseller vendors,

  • Evangelists,

  • And plug-in providers that revolve around the company’s core technologies and product offerings.

The rise in prominence of such partner ecosystems has given popularity to the idea that having a value-adding network of partners and collaborative organizations can be an essential competitive advantage. Large companies have been very successful at doing so. Still, we are also seeing the rise of other types of more diffused, less centralized ecosystems that arise organically between technology companies that are more equal and collaborative partners. A clear partner ecosystem development strategy has become essential to growth at any stage in a company’s lifecycle.

Varieties of Ecosystem Partners

To fully appreciate the benefits of ecosystem partners, step one is to recognize the full range of partnerships your company can build with other organizations and individuals.

Sales and Marketing Partners

When you evaluate partner channels, these companies come first to mind. They form a distribution network for a company’s products and services. They are essential to a successful sales and marketing strategy, as the distribution network lends massive scale to any fast-growing technology provider. We work with Partners that come in many forms:

  • ​Co-Marketing Partners:
    Partners who market different solutions to the same customer base.​


  • Value-Added Resellers/System Integrators:
    An individual or company specializing in building complete computer systems by assembling components from different v

    Unlike software developers, system integrators Typically do not produce any original code. Instead, they enable your company to use off-the-shelf hardware and software packages to meet your company’s computing needs.

  • Referrers:
    Vendors or VARs who do not distribute a vendor’s product directly can refer their customers to the vendor.

  • ​White Labelers/OEM Partners:
    ​Partners who incorporate a vendor’s product/solutions into their own proprietary solutions. Also, include “white labelling” partners.

    Who labels a vendor’s product with their own branding?

  • ​Bundlers:
    Resellers bundle various solutions into a single Bundle for their customers. They can be VAR or simply distributors/resellers of unaltered solutions.


  • Managed Services Providers:
    A category that has been growing dramatically in recent years, these are partners that provide not only the infrastructure and initial implementation. Services but also services to help customers use and manage the product, the network, and the infrastructure supporting it.


  • ​Industry-Specific Products and Services Resellers and Distributors:
    Partners who specialize in providing IT systems/solutions to a particular target industry. They can either resell a vendor’s solution with a platform to serve a particular industry.


  • ​Retailers:
    ​​End retailers for IT and software solutions.

Technology Partners

These technology providers whose products can be integrated into or built upon another product or service. They are essential to the company’s product and market strategy because they allow the company to capture and enter new adjacent markets without having to invest heavily in new product developments for those markets.

  • Platform Extenders/Third-Party Application Developers:
    These are add-ons or plug-in providers who build applications on top of the platform offered by your Company’s product or another company’s product.

    They help extend the functionality of the solutions, increase the value of the platforms to end users and form a solid base of support for the company’s products.

  • Implementation Tools Providers:
    These are software vendors who specialize in “tools” that help customers better use your Company’s products or platforms. They add value to your product and enhance its reach and competitive advantage in the market.


  • Strategic Technology Integration Partner:
    Another vendor whose technology can benefit from deep integration with your technology to strengthen both product features and competitiveness. For example, integrating web analytics with email marketing solutions to provide an A-to-Z closed-loop marketing and analytics package for the end customers.



  • Verticalization Specialists:
    In many cases, customers from different industries have very different data model usage levels or functionality requirements that your company is not willing to build into the core product’s roadmap because the market opportunities in that niche vertical industry are too limited.

    That’s where verticalization specialists come in.  These are specialist companies that focus on customizing software platforms to build industry-specific solutions for these customers.

    Their business models allow them to focus on niche industries (by offering a whole range of solutions, not single-point products), and they are better positioned to serve customers in those industries.


  • Joint Product Strategy Partner:
    These are technology vendors with whom your company can jointly develop and market a unique product to capture a specific market segment of customers that have unmet needs that the product makes addressable.

  • Platform Providers:
    In contrast to platform extenders, platform providers are vendors whose platform your technology depends on. You want to build a long-term strategy with them so that there is a mutually beneficial relationship that leads to tighter integration and better technologies for both you and the provider.

  • Major Platform Users/Technology Licensees:
    In contrast, platform providers or platform extender users are vendors whose solutions are built on top of customers who are utilizing your platform heavily.

    They are typically thought of as customers but should ultimately be considered another type of partner because of the level of influence they will have on a company’s backlog and reputation in the market. By treating them as partners, a company can align its product and distribution strategy better with these major customers for the mutual benefit of both.

Electronic Book
  • ​Service Providers:
    An entire universe of relevant service providers exists and is often overlooked because they do not directly resell or market technology products or because they do not offer technology products themselves that can be integrated into a vendor’s technology stack.

    However, for any technology company to offer a full product to its customers, service providers are crucial to the strategy.
    They help fill the gap in the service that cannot be addressed by product features, and they also play an important role in evangelizing new products and solutions, even before sales and marketing strategies take root.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What Partner Services does DigitalLevers offer?
    We create a unique purpose-built approach for your Partner objectives. Built on lessons experienced, and best practices that have made successful Partner transformation. Our framework for SaaS Partner transformation and marketing strategy specifically considers the Partner portfolio and adapts to integrate with your sales and go-to-market strategies to reach your goals. We understand that no company can afford to hire an outside expert who has the illusion of one step forward, yet the result is two steps backward. The consequence is a safe approach to bring outside thinking to spark growth and avoid pitfalls that often inhibit progress. The result is you can safely scale faster – and begin realizing benefits sooner.
  • What are the key elements that make a Partner Marketing Ecosystem effective?
    1. Clear goals and objectives: The ecosystem must have clear goals and objectives that are aligned between the partners, which include a clear understanding of what each partner is expected to achieve. 2. Strong relationships: Strong relationships between partners are essential, as there must be trust and transparency for the ecosystem to work effectively. 3. Collaboration and communication: Effective communication is key to success, with regular meetings and opportunities for partners to collaborate on ideas and strategies. 4. Defined roles and responsibilities: Each partner should have clearly defined roles and responsibilities, which must be easily understood and agreed upon by all parties involved. 5. Metrics and KPIs: There must be clear metrics and KPIs established to measure the success of the ecosystem, with regular reviews to ensure that the ecosystem is meeting its goals and objectives. 6. Technology: A technology platform is important to enable partners to share data, information, and insights. This allows partners to leverage each other's capabilities and strengths to deliver better results collectively. We incorporate these key elements in our Partner Marketing Ecosystem approach to ensure that our clients' partnerships are effective, strategic, and results-driven. By building strong relationships with our clients, fostering open communication and collaboration, and implementing a technology platform that supports the ecosystem, our clients can achieve their business objectives.
  • How can I measure the success of my Partner Marketing Ecosystem?
    Success can be measured through various key performance indicators (KPIs) such as Partner Page website traffic, conversion rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and lead generation. Additionally, tracking metrics related to sales, revenue, and return on investment (ROI) can provide insights into the site's effectiveness.
  • How can I ensure that my Partner Marketing complies with data privacy regulations, like GDPR and CCPA?
    To ensure compliance with data privacy regulations, you should communicate your data collection and usage practices to visitors through a privacy policy. Implement mechanisms for obtaining user consent for data collection, provide options for users to manage their data, and secure personal information appropriately. Regularly update your site's privacy practices to align with evolving regulations and standards.
  • What is the role of social media integration in the Partner Ecosystem?
    Social media integration for Partner Marketing customer interaction enables you to build a community, gather feedback, and promote your products or services through social networks.
  • Can a Partner Marketing Ecosystem benefit a small business, or is it primarily for larger companies?
    Partner Marketing capabilities can benefit businesses of all sizes. It can be particularly advantageous for small businesses. It provides an affordable and effective means of reaching a wider audience, generating leads, and competing with larger competitors. With a well-optimized Partner capability, even small businesses can establish a strong presence, build credibility, and cost-effectively attract customers.
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