Over the last month or two I have been updating our listing of contact information for our registered ClearCenter partners. Naturally, we carried over the Partner Directory straight from the ClarkConnect website, and things are a little bit out of date. Since we’re making a pretty big move to a new brand and even a new kind of partner program, we’ve felt it is important to reach out and get as much focused feedback from our experience IT service providers as possible. We have been dialling up our partners to explain about the transition and to get specific suggestions. Of course I get nostalgic talking with them as we swap stories to about heroic implementations and straigtening out gnarly IS processes.
The specific feedback we’ve been eliciting has been on previous experience with other prominent partner programs, such as with Microsoft, Dell, HP and Cisco. We hoped to get a sense of what our partners liked and disliked about those other vendors and which models worked the best for a small managed service provider. This included their experience with training and certification. We asked about what kind of commitments a partner should make with a vendor, such as an annual fee or revenue goals. Then we asked about what kinds of reciprocal benefits would be most enticing after making that commitment, such as support escalations and better margins on pricing.
We have not been able to reach out to everyone on our list yet, but the dialog so far has been very insightful. We’re getting to know what are really the most effective factors in a successful partner program for ClarkConnect/ClearCenter and we’re opening up the channels for widespread and ongoing feedback. We hope that each of our partners will feel welcome to express their concerns and innovations, and we’ve got a specific mailbox just for that. We also have an ongoing Partner Satisfaction survey (based on the NPS system) via our webform that our partners can fill out any time. We look forward to hearing more; once we got started talking to you we’re hooked and can’t get enough!