Ecosystem models drive future partnering success

Main visual : Ecosystem models drive future partnering success

At Fujitsu, we’ve worked hard over the years to evolve the support we provide our channel to meet our partners' changing demands.

As Head of Channel Europe, Fernanda Catarino mentioned: “I’m immensely proud that Fujitsu has the solid foundation of a robust partner ecosystem in place. Together, we can help customers truly harness their data. We are also well placed to help our channel grow, with us by each partner’s side as a trusted advisor, offering as much or as little support as they need.”

The old approach to channel support – based on rebates, incentives and rewards is no longer a good fit for IT channel partners. That’s why, at Fujitsu, our collective focus is on co-creating business value.

We were the first to focus our partner program on expertise rather than revenue targets, but now it’s time to create a new benchmark for channel support. It’s time for us all to challenge old assumptions and to shape a new future for every member of the ecosystem – built on trust, mutual respect and long-term success.

None of us can do this alone – we are stronger together as an ecosystem.

We recently invited IDC to present a webinar sharing insights on ecosystem business models and the implications and opportunities for partners. As Fujitsu rolls out its own ecosystem initiatives, partners can now start to access enhanced benefits of collaboration and co-creation while working together in new ways.

IDC is publishing a series of four blogs on this topic, starting with this overview outlining how these new business models function and what it means for partners. Subsequent blogs in the series will explore in depth how specific groups such as data-driven partners, service providers and digital infrastructure specialists can benefit from ecosystem participation.

Our sincere thanks to Margaret Adam, AVP for IDC's European Tech Ecosystems Group, for this blog article.

It is important for partners to understand how ecosystem models can change how they work and who they work with. Ecosystems create the opportunity for new connections between different partner types and build a web of interdependent enterprises and relationships that create business value.

Ecosystems models also mean that partners need to start thinking about customers in a different way. In the past, defining the role of the partner in delivering a third-party product or service to a customer was relatively straightforward. Within ecosystem business models, this starts to change as partners, customers and vendor take on more fluid and interchangeable roles.

Getting closer to customers, understanding them better and helping them innovate faster are just some of the benefits that ecosystem models can provide to partners. Treating customers as partners and deriving sustainable business benefits from the closer relationships that result is just one of the reasons why ecosystem business models show strong momentum.

Customers are increasingly looking for suppliers that understand them better and can work in a collaborative and specialized way to build and deliver solutions that map onto desired business outcomes. In many cases, these solutions require the expertise of multiple partners. Ecosystem business models can provide the platform to unite multiple partners and achieve this.

Partners can access new business opportunities as the transition from traditional linear-based channels to dynamic ecosystem-based collaborative models gains momentum.

As the model moves from channel to ecosystem it allow participants to build new partnerships, co-create with other companies and explore new business directions. This flexibility is supported by a robust structure that enables these new business relationships to flourish. For that to happen, successful ecosystems require an effective orchestrator committed to building and developing the common underlying structure.

The ecosystem orchestrator typically provides a platform, APIs that drive the connections and interoperability between multiple partners, plus the tools, framework and communication channels required for accelerated collaboration. Committing to an ecosystem requires a level of trust from partners. This means trust in other partners using the platform as well as trust in the ecosystem orchestrator.

Participation in an ecosystem is a way for partners to access new opportunities by showcasing their skills and expertise to other partners. It allows all participants to bring relevant partners on board for projects that require specific areas of expertise. Partners that access additional skills and expertise through ecosystem participation can build stronger and deeper customer relationships, expanding the relationship and creating a position where they can meet and exceed customer expectations across more expansive solution areas.

The process of collaboration and co-creation within an ecosystem is driven by sharing both knowledge and processes. The value that is created within an ecosystem business model is amplified by the network effect of bringing multiple partners together. The efforts of multiple partners combined equates to building solutions faster and sharing a sustainable competitive advantage, while also encouraging a process of continuous innovation.

With multiple partners involved, there is a degree of interdependence and interconnectedness, which forms both the platform for success and acts as a driver for continuous contribution for all participants. The case for exploring ecosystem involvement is compelling and growing stronger for partners day-by-day. The new relationships that are created within ecosystem models become stronger over time, maturing into powerful partnerships.

Now is the time to explore these opportunities and understand how ecosystems not only drive business resiliency today, but also serve as the foundation for future business innovation and continued relevance.

We will take a closer look at how these benefits apply to specific parts of Fujitsu’s wider partner community in the next blogs in this series. With a strong and diverse partner base spanning multiple area of expertise and competence, Fujitsu is well-positioned to build out a strong ecosystem proposition moving forwards.

To learn more about the benefits of ecosystem business models and how Fujitsu partners can participate effectively, access the recent IDC webinar, ‘Collaboration, Co-Creation, Co-Opetition: Ecosystem Implications & Opportunities for Fujitsu Partners’.

In the webinar you can benefit from the insights of IDC specialist, Margaret Adam, where she explained how the shift to ecosystem business models will significantly impact European business and society. We explored the implications for your business model and, specifically the way you interact with customers as well as the increasingly interconnected ecosystem of technology partners.

You can also hear Rudi Frickenschmidt, the Fujitsu Ecosystem guy, and Sander Rittersma of SJ Solutions discuss how Fujitsu is already making it happen in a conversation about SJ Solution’s Green Cloud, an all-round win solution developed through co-creation and collaboration.

For more details on “Collaboration, Co-Creation, Co-Opetition – Ecosystem Implications and Opportunities for Fujitsu Partners" and many other topics, please visit our website or contact us.

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Guest Author - Margaret Adam, IDC

Margaret Adam is AVP for IDC's European Tech Ecosystems Group encompassing Professional and Managed Services, SMB, Startup and partnering ecosystems.

Based in London, Margaret is responsible for driving IDC’s research, innovation and thought leadership agenda on these topics. Central to this is understanding how broader industry trends impact the technology ecosystem and the relationships that customers have with their technology partners. This includes identifying next-generation services partners and channels, advising on innovative practices and understanding the implications and opportunities that digital transformation presents to the ecosystem.