This talk was given by Sue Fernand, System Integrator Partner Manager of Nexmo, the Vonage API Company at SaaS Connect 2019 in San Francisco, March 26-27, 2019. Get the slides

Scaling enterprise solutions is a lucrative process that many cloud companies want to master. However, many enterprise companies have lengthy processes and detailed protocols, making it difficult to do business.

Partnerships are a great way to overcome barriers and create a dedicated system for scaling enterprise channels.

Sue Fernand of Nexmo, an API platform owned by Vonage, explained at SaaS Connect 2019 how she creates partnerships as a strategy for closing enterprise deals.

How can partnerships support scaling an enterprise channel?

Partnerships have been essential in helping Nexmo scale enterprise channels. They work with application partners, integration partners and technology partners to connect with enterprises that align with their goals and mission.

  1. Partners own the relationship with the enterprise. Enterprises don’t need to conduct lengthy evaluations when working with existing partners. The trusted relationship already exists. This results in quicker decision-making.
  2. Partners have specialized technology skill sets. Nexmo is focused on expanding its healthcare and financial services vertical, which are complex and often have many protocols. Partners in these industries are extremely valuable for closing deals early and often.
  3. Differentiate partner programs from competitors. Nexmo always looks in the market for new ecosystems to explore. They seek out opportunities where competitor programs are weak and have a dedicated team to identify well-aligned partnership opportunities.

How to prioritize partnerships that scale enterprise channels

Nexmo believes fees and courses create barriers for partners. That’s why it doesn’t charge for partnerships. People who do use Nexmo’s API to create a business opportunity simply can pitch their case and become a partner.

  • Assess partnership connections. Since Nexmo’s API is open to anyone, it’s important to identify a quality partner in the early stages of a partnership to avoid wasting time. A quality partner has strong connections to enterprise technology companies that are aligned with Nexmo’s goals. They consider the players and system integrators when considering a new partnership. Then, Nexmo allows the potential partner to use its API to load test and create new integrations.
  • Align the sales team. Nexmo makes sure its sales team isn’t already engaging with a partner before they create a new partnership. A dedicated partner manager can ensure the sales team and partnerships team aren’t clashing or overlapping their efforts. Marketing, then, should focus on building pipelines for the sales team through dedicated partnerships.

How can these partnerships be nurtured for better sales and marketing?

Working together with partners means finding a mutually beneficial incentive. Nexmo has a detailed process for generating monetary incentives, lead-generating programs, social campaigns and enablement tools.

  • Give partners preview access. Partners should see new features before they’re released to the public so they can build and market new updates. This is done internally to ensure partners have a leg up.
  • Brainstorm joint-promotion. Joint promotions are essential for both Nexmo and partners to create awareness. The core benefit of working with partners is going on a journey to find new business.

Nexmo works with partners as a means of scaling new enterprise channels. By co-marketing and co-selling perks and incentives, Nexmo reduces barriers to access and successfully grows its API.