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How to Develop Strategic Cloud Partnerships

Jan 19, 2022 | 10m

Gain Actionable Insights Into:

  • Assessing if your company is ready to partner with a cloud provider
  • Alternative ways of engaging a cloud provider
  • How to start a partnership that benefits all parties

Who Benefits From a Cloud Partnership (And How)?

There are many ways to engage with a cloud provider. If your company is at the right stage, and your product is a good match, a partnership can drive significant growth. So, how do you actually know? This section outlines how cloud partners could add value to your company and customers, what makes a good fit, and alternatives to consider if your company isn’t ready just yet.

Firstly, as a partner, you get access to the wide range of technical resources that any cloud provider already has. You could use these resources to optimize your architecture to scale with projected growth, or develop a new proof of concept with the cloud provider’s guidance and investment so that your internal engineering resources don’t have to be diverted from their current priorities.

Secondly, the cloud provider’s sales team could help with selling on your behalf. Earlier in my career, I worked with a tiny 5-person company that had partnered with a cloud provider to help them scale. Through the partnership, they now had access to over a thousand salespersons and their contacts. By offering the right incentives and aligning their product to the cloud provider’s roadmap, the tiny company grew their sales footprint and ended up having a very exclusive product relationship with the cloud provider and became a top co-selling partner. Their strategic partnership with the cloud provider continued to grow as did the company, which now has hundreds of major enterprise customers – a scale they were able to achieve because of the partnership.

In addition, most cloud providers have solution marketplaces that allow software companies to transact on the cloud provider’s paper. For most companies that are looking to reduce time to signature, transacting through a cloud provider’s marketplace and on the provider’s paper can lend instant credibility and significantly lead to deal time. For instance, I once saw a start-up close a $2.5 million deal in three months. Without the partnership, closing the deal would have taken three times as long. A cloud provider’s marketplace can also act as a discovery platform (through organic interest and marketing campaigns), providing new leads to companies that would not have otherwise surfaced.

Lastly, being backed by a cloud provider aids marketing efforts by giving your company’s credibility a huge boost. Some of the many benefits include reaching new markets by having your products and company showcased on the provider’s websites and case studies, and by generating new leads and gaining mindshare through joint go-to-market campaigns.

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