This is why cloud providers, like Google Cloud (GCP), have taken a partner-first strategy and software businesses like Mambu, have embraced partnerships as a core part of their growth strategy. The partnership between GCP and Mambu is going from strength to strength - what is the recipe for this success? Here are five tips from Joachim Wuest, Director, Financial Services at GCP and Ben Snowman, VP Partnerships & Advisory at Mambu.
1. Think global but start small
All global partnerships start with big ambitions. And so they should. Mobilising ambitious partnerships is difficult so you need to start small and locally. When Mambu mobilises large global partnerships, "we need to start in 2-3 countries, build the personal connections between both partners and nurture the relationship through delicate facilitation. The organisational change to making a major partnership work is far larger than anyone would think" states Ben. Jo agrees, "you can never launch a partnership in 20 countries in one go. Sales teams need to be aligned, the culture fit between organisations needs to be navigated and trust needs to be built. Once you have momentum and have learned how to implement the partnership, it is easier to do in more countries and you see an acceleration quite quickly".
2. Create and orchestrate an ecosystem
The might of a leading software business and CSP can be a potent mix to advance an industry vertical. However, clients may require professional services to implement the software or complementary solutions to deliver the best value to customers. "The need for an ecosystem of like minded partners has never been more important. And orchestrating that ecosystem is not a question of transacting with a roster of approved partners - it is about working jointly to make introductions through the concerted alignment of strategy and go-to-market planning. This is how you orchestrate an ecosystem so that clients and partners become successful" said Ben. Jo adds, "GCP is taking a partner-first strategy and recognises that, in part, is a backbone to orchestrate a broad ecosystem of players. The value to clients can be exponential by introducing a unified solution of other ISVs and services firms which, in turn, help GCP to become more relevant and commercially successful".
3. The virtuous cycle is the partnering strategy
Some software businesses see CSPs as a utility. Some CSPs see software businesses as a means of growing consumption, only. The truth is, the best partnerships are built around the support of each partner's objectives. The CSP can introduce new clients to the software business which, in turn, grows consumption. This is the virtuous cycle. As Joachim states, "it is great to work with software businesses, like Mambu, who really get this. Growth comes much faster for both organisations and the relationships are always deeper and more trusting". Ben has set out a Partnership strategy for Mambu on the basis of a "give/give" relationship. As Ben says, "as each partner gives more to the relationship, the partnership is seen to flourish - we see this in the commercial outcomes as much as the deepening of the corporate and personal relationships". The partnership with GCP is a living example of this.
4. Create differentiation and relevance
Every company in the world has competition, so how do you stand out? You need to create something unique which cannot be copied. "Google has hundreds of its own proprietary products and capabilities - through integrations with software businesses and integrations between software businesses, a unique value proposition can be developed which is compelling for customers and prospects" said Jo. Ben notes that the development of any strategic partnership, "requires a roadmap of deeper alignment. We have a clear path with GCP and exciting developments which we will launch into the market in due course".
5. Help each other deliver the business plan
Fundamentally, partnerships are there to deliver commercial outcomes for both parties. These outcomes should be locked down in a joint business plan, transparently, with executives at both sides. "If one party succeeds and another fails, that is a failure of the partnership. Each partner must support the other to become successful", says Ben. Jo adds, "the execution of the virtuous cycle is what really counts - execution of the strategy - and we have a responsibility to help our software partners succeed, just as they have a responsibility to help us succeed. This is one of the major tenets of any meaningful partnerships".
The partnership between Mambu and GCP is a burgeoning success across the globe, with more to come. A true example of the 'give/give' partnership strategy in action.