Skip to content

Partner Relationship Management Meets the New Kid on the Block: Partner Ecosystem Management

By

Partner Relationship Management (PRM) has been the primary tech available for partnership program portals for many years. Today, vendor organizations are looking to enhance and overlay their partner portals and channel incentive software with partner engagement enablement to drive new and improved partner relationships. Cue... the new kid on the block! Partner Ecosystem Management (PEM). 

Another acronym cousin to the channel technology family: Partner Ecosystem Management (PEM) and Ecosystem Orchestration (EO) are here to stay! In 2021, Forrester added an “ecosystem management” category to their channel software tech breakdown and reported that the number of partner ecosystem management companies doubled from 2020 to 2021, with the revenue driven by these companies doubling as well — from $93 million in 2020 to $172 million in 2021. 

Collaboration:      

PEM or EO solutions are important because they specifically optimize co-selling promotions and collaboration across entire ecosystems. They focus on creating a cohesive, connected experience for ecosystem users: customers, partners, influencers, and employees.

They can integrate with a host of line of business (LOB) applications and partner modules – CRMs, LMS, Sales Readiness, Channel Incentives, Rebate Programs, Points Based Loyalty and Reward Programs - bringing them into one platform. Offering up a great one hub experience to all. A three dimensional, every point of contact, education, enablement, engagement, in one place. Somewhere the channel can live, breathe, grow and get better.

But what are the key features and differences between our 'PRM' and 'PEM' cousins?

Understanding them will help you determine the right solutions to drive your partner business in the right direction and and help you choose the channel stack that will grow with you in the expanding channel technology space.

 Differentiators:

PRM (Partner Relationship Management: Portal that stores data and is focused on supporting existing partners.

PEM/ EO (Partner Ecosystem Management/ Ecosystem Orchestration: Platform that opens the “portal” experience to best-in-breed line of business applications (LOB) applications and creates a one-stop user experience.

Portal housing partner marketing programs and tools across linear supply chains to assist partners selling on vendor's behalf. Offers automation to remove redundant steps to essential tasks like lead registration or education.

PRMs are a tooling gated portal where partners log in and register deals, assets, training materials, and information relevant to type. They are commonly web-based, offering self-service tools, information, resources, and incentive rewards to partner resellers.

Partnership and cloud sharing platform that connects multiple members across an organization’s ecosystem. Solutions offer a co-selling/ collaboration management platform (not a traditional partner portal that looks like a website) with content and data sharing between all users.

PEM/EO service the multi-partner and influencer complex environment creating a cohesive experience for all ecosystem users: customers, partners, influencers, and employees. Integrating with all line LOBs, they inherently connect a myriad of systems through one unifying user interface and experience.

 

Functionality: 
Tools based and commonly include:

· Partner Onboarding

· Marketing Development Funds

· Training and Certification

· Deal Registration Programs

· Incentives and Rewards

· Content Resource Library

· Reports on partner performance across functions

 

Enablers:
Connects and collaborates all LOB applications, programs or software that are needed to run a partner business:

· Incentive and Reward/Fund Modules as per list opposite

· CRMs, LMS

· Sales Readiness Tools, Loyalty, and Rewards Programs

· Delivers completely unique personalized experiences for any type of user in almost any language

· Integrates content and applications from anywhere to create a unified, frictionless experience for users

· Up-to-the-minute analysis of user engagement activity

 

 

Closing thought:

No partner relationship and ecosystem management strategy are without its pain points. However, by eliminating existing issues across siloed, traditional programs and LOB systems you can minimize engagement frustration, enhance the quality of partnership alignment, and maximize your business performance and ROI. 

The 360ecosystems' partner engagement management (PEM) platform intelligently and automatically connects all business users to the information, tools, applications, and system resources they need to get the job done - without friction, organization barriers, or system silos. 

Learn more about 360insights and our partner ecosystem here.

Topics: