With Rick Devenuti’s keynote focused on solutions, I had an interesting conversation over breakfast with some IIG consultants that was worth a post. Skipping the VMWare Keynote so I had some time to think it through.
IIG Partners, IIG Consulting and OnDemand – IIG Take
Related to Rick’s keynote, IIG would like to:
- Focus on the End User
- Move to the Cloud
- Pervasive Governance
- Transform your business
In order to get better end user solutions, OnDemand services and transforming your business tie to someone (either a partner or IIG) building out more of a solution for businesses. The dilemma for Rick is how to bring in the serious business knowledge required to really “transform your business”. (Talking 25 years, seen this client do this, this client do this business knowledge).
The IIG consultants expressed frustration that partners were competing against OnDemand with Amazon type solutions. A valid concern from IIG is that a partner would undersell the price of the service/software and add on lots of consulting revenue on the back-end. IIG would like to see partners build out solutions, particularly SAAS, that can help drive IIG OnDemand
IIG Partners, IIG Consulting and OnDemand – Partners Take
Partners struggle with managing the client and IIG relationship. If the business benefit of an Amazon solution would be cheaper for the client, how can the partner recommend IIG OnDemand? If “transforming your business” results in a non-IIG solution (say SharePoint), what happens to the IIG relationship? If the cost of moving from a data center to the cloud has no business benefit, is it worth the effort? If IIG consulting is competing against the partner, why wouldn’t the parnter leverage a non-IIG solution alternative with a software vendor or SAAS provider that doesn’t compete?
During the discussion, we agreed that IIG is a very sales focused division and that can get in the way of trust between a partner and IIG. Should a partner build out a solution that won’t be marketed or eventually replaced by something from IIG? (think of box.net or FCG given this year’s announcements about Syncplicity and vertical solutions for Life Sciences).
The partner relationship model with IIG is complex and can be difficult to navigate. As Rick moves IIG to be more solution focused, trying to resolve the channel conflict and competition will be difficult given the sales driven culture. IIG will either have to adjust the culture to be more partner friendly or procure higher end consultants internally.
Let me know your thoughts.