Transcends

So you want to partner with a hyperscaler: Things to know about forging a strong partnership

This post was originally published by Fast Company

How big do you think a business needs to be before the likes of Google and Microsoft will work with them? The answer may surprise you: As an agency of 25 people, Transcends Marketing has successfully partnered with the world’s largest companies.

You, too, can partner with the tech giants—or hyperscalers—to grow market share and scale your business to new heights.

There are plenty of reasons to do so, from access to co-marketing dollars, customer leads, and won business, to the ability to leverage the hyperscalers’ sellers. Companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft employ thousands, even tens of thousands, of field sellers that resell their partner’s solutions.

Partnering also helps make their customers your customers. Hyperscalers have the ultimate customer list: They have existing customer relationships with the biggest brands on the planet.

And, you offer more value to customers as a hyperscaler partner, since your technology is more likely to be compatible with other systems. You can tap into the latest offerings, such as Microsoft’s new Copilot, built with OpenAI.

But perhaps more than any other advantage is the fact that you can go to market with a large company that can provide resources and funding and help you gain market share. What’s better than that?

ARE YOU READY TO PARTNER WITH A HYPERSCALER?

Before partnering with a hyperscaler, think about whether you are ready to do so. Here are some signs that it’s time to consider a partnership:

1. There is a strong product fit.

If a hyperscaler is foundational to your solution and how you sell, then there is a natural business reason to go to market together. For example, if you have an application that is only usable within the Microsoft Teams environment, it makes sense to list in the Teams Store and to plan a joint go-to-market with Microsoft.

On the other hand, if you don’t have a strong product partner fit, it may not be a wise investment. For example, if you’ve built your SaaS solution on AWS using AWS developer services, it likely doesn’t make the most sense to plan a joint go-to-market with Google.

2. You impact a hyperscaler’s business metrics.

The most important metric for hyperscalers is cloud consumption. If your product or service helps companies increase cloud usage, then you offer a clear benefit to the hyperscalers.

For example, Microsoft largely evaluates its partners based on their ability to drive consumption of its cloud platform, Azure (measured as ACR, or Azure Consumption Revenue).

If you can make a clear case that your business impacts a hyperscaler’s key metrics for success, then you are likely in a good position to partner with them.

3. Your customers are coming to you to help implement a solution.

The enterprise world is multi-cloud. Talk to any major bank or global retailer and you’ll hear the same thing—that different areas of their business run on different clouds, including all three of the big ones: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure.

In the case of large customers, they often have the buying power to dictate which cloud they will use. If they’re choosing GCP when you’re predominantly an AWS solution, you might choose to use this opportunity to create a meaningful partnership with GCP.

Hyperscalers want to see a pipeline of real opportunities, so often the best time to engage them is on a specific customer activation.

4. You sell to the hyperscaler’s biggest customers.

Likewise, if your customers are asking you to help them implement Microsoft products, then it might be time to approach the company about how you can work together. Sharing customers is a big sign that there might be an advantage to going to market together.

 

FORGING A PARTNERSHIP

At Transcends Marketing, we invest a lot of energy into understanding how hyperscalers go to market with their partners. When companies are asked to produce AppSource and AWS Marketplace offers, we know how to optimize the listing.

Hyperscalers work with tens of thousands of partners, so one of the advantages a company like mine offers is a 1:1 high-touch experience. We are fast and agile, and we have the specialized knowledge to get the job done.

For example, we work with a large financial technology company, helping them strengthen their partnerships with other companies. We do this by creating scalable marketing campaigns that help them go to market together. We conduct in-depth interviews with the key stakeholders, get to know them and the ways in which their goals align, and develop a strategy that we then help execute.

 

WHAT COMES NEXT

Once you are in as a partner with a hyperscaler, you have many advantages, including access to marketing spend. For example, Microsoft offers market development funds to its partners to help develop their sales and marketing campaigns for a specific channel.

Hyperscalers also offer tools to help you co-brand content. For example, Microsoft offers its partners many resources, including “in a box” joint marketing campaign assets. Its martech tools are equipped with AI and constantly improving so that you will soon be able to query cobranded assets from ChatGPT. You can have digital marketing content on demand: Just upload information about your company and it will produce assets and automatically post to your channels.

What we love most about working with hyperscalers is that we get to be on the bleeding edge of technology. The current development of generative AI is a great example: It’s been so exciting for us to both work with companies that are going to market with AI offerings and to incorporate AI into our ways of working.

As Canalys estimates, generative AI will be a $158.6 billion opportunity for the channel ecosystem by 2028. Wherever things go from here, I know our agency—because of our work with the tech giants and our exposure to this fast-evolving technology—will be ready for it.

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