Partnering Strategies During the COVID-19 Crisis

Yalta ConferenceBeen thinking a lot while hunkered down, about how the partner community must address two critically important issues during and after the coronavirus pandemic changes work, home, and lives: the joint challenges of safely helping their teams, their vendors, and their customers move forward to the new IT and tech world.

Long before Rahm Emanuel first used the expression during the recession of 2008, Sir Winston Churchill is credited with saying, “Never let a good crisis go to waste” in the mid-1940s as the end of World War ll was approaching. Churchill was (allegedly) referring to the Yalta Conference and the alliance forged between himself, Stalin, and Roosevelt, an unlikely trio that would lead to the formation of the United Nations, creating opportunities during a crisis.

Never mind that there is little actual proof that he said it, but heck, he was a walking quote machine so let’s not get in the way of a good story.

Fast forward to 2020, where we are in the middle of great upheaval and personal crises. Rahm recently reprised the phrase in the context of this uncertainty, and some have jumped all over it online as just an excuse that will be used to exploit the situation and promote different agendas.

But wait ... A clear message of inspiration is hiding in a reading of the entire quote:

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that [is] it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not before."

In the time of COVID-19, channel leaders have been presented a great opportunity, a chance for sustainable differentiation. By ensuring a balance of personal safety, technological and process innovation, they can become even more valuable, relied on by BOTH their vendor partners and their mutual customers. To seize this generational opportunity, they must reimagine their relationships, up and down the ecosystem, by:

  • Maintaining close relationships with key clients:
    • Helping them react, adapt, and manage risk and costs in the short term.
    • Inspiring them to transform IT delivery structures in the long term.
  • Getting even closer (virtually) to their strategic vendors:
    • Maximizing and leveraging financial incentives and programs while driving solution sales.
    • Gaining important mindshare and resources to ensure their own long-term success.

During this current business upheaval, forward-thinking partners will challenge and inspire their teams to do things they didn’t think they could do. They will integrate new solutions, sales and marketing activities, and services delivery. It won’t be easy but coming out the other end they will have transformed their own businesses for the new normal – whatever that crazy phrase means – and be relied upon by both vendors and their client IT decision makers. A serious crisis can sometimes yield serious progress!  

Topics: Channel COVID-19 Tech Effect