By Sara Rosso, Director of Global Product Marketing
The second day of the CloudBlue’s Innovators Virtual Forum was all about looking ahead.
The COVID-19 pandemic, and its subsequent lockdowns, have accelerated digital transformation at breakneck speed. But what comes next for independent software vendors (ISVs) and service providers as commerce is pushed further online?
Channel experts from Forrester, Ingram Micro Cloud, IBM and other leading firms told attendees exactly what they can expect for the future of digital in the years to come.
Digital 3.0: Powering what’s next
Nimesh Davé, president of CloudBlue and Ingram Micro Cloud, set the tone of day 2 with a rousing keynote speech about the dawn of “Digital 3.0.”
The pandemic has accelerated what we at CloudBlue and Ingram Micro Cloud have foreseen for years now: a wholly digital approach to work and life.
Nimesh highlighted how cloud technology has kept the world afloat during lockdowns, allowing for remote work, virtual family reunions, online exercise classes, and much more. Thanks to Digital 3.0, we’ve come out more resilient, connected, and more prepared for new growth opportunities.
For the business world to be successful in Digital 3.0, said Nimesh, they must focus on customer experience -- especially because today’s B2B buyer sees digital interactions as two to three times more important than traditional sales interactions.
The future of B2B marketplaces
Customer experience was also a key theme in the session on the future of B2B marketplaces featuring Director of Global Marketing Alyssa Lahham and Senior Product Marketing Manager Yvette Ross from CloudBlue.
World-class customer experience is a critical mission of B2B marketplaces. Those launching marketplaces must design for immediacy and convenience. What’s more, marketplaces will increasingly be developed to align with holistic solutions for specific industries.
For vendors and providers selling on marketplaces, the experts urged them to accelerate solutioning for industry verticals, as well as leverage technology such as APIs to efficiently deploy on multiple marketplaces at once.
For ISVs: Accelerate Success with the CloudBlue Connect Roadmap
Anthony Huang, Product Manager at CloudBlue, mapped for the audience the long-term vision of the company, as well as the latest developments for CloudBlue Connect, the leading vendor and channel management platform.
Looking ahead, Connect v21 will enable more flexibility to further expand product portfolios and provide a more intuitive experience when looking up and extracting information across the platform. It also will feature a new extended compatibility for multi-year subscription periods and products, allowing customers to further support and grow their annuity business.
Customer Experience in the Advanced Digital Age
Allison Tiscornia, Chief Customer Officer at Sendoso, a leading sending platform, educated audience members about customer experience (CX) in an advanced digital age.
According to Allison, companies must leverage technology to continuously educate users, reward customers that champion your product, and establish meaningful relationships with them.
She added, a bottle of champagne upon a customer’s renewal doesn’t hurt either!
Driving Digital Revenue with IBM's Unified Endpoint Management
Chris Loder, Global Channel Sales Executive at IBM, was another featured speaker on the Forum’s virtual podium.
He detailed how IBM's digitally delivered endpoint solution, MaaS360, (which is available through Ingram Micro Cloud and CloudBlue) creates a better customer experience for providers and clients and fuels monthly recurring revenue growth.
Keys to Success in Channel Ecosystems for 2021
Jay McBain, a principal analyst at Forrester, capped off the second day of the Forum with expert advice to vendors and providers about channel ecosystem success.
McBain highlighted the increasing importance of channels in B2B sales, saying that 64% of the $3.5 trillion spent by businesses and governments on technology each year “flows through partners of different types.”
According to McBain, the industry is seeing the emergence of a three-pronged channel model consisting of an influencer channel, transactional channel, and a retention channel.
Additionally, marketplaces are playing an increasingly important role in channel ecosystems. In fact, 11% of channel executives believe marketplaces will drive the majority of their indirect revenue as soon as 2023.
To get ahead in marketplaces, said McBain, companies must take steps to automate workflows and processes, explore ways to counter security threats and accelerate their cloud initiatives.
The pandemic has accelerated our digital transformation and it’s important that companies understand where to go from here. The speakers made it clear that to move ahead successfully with digital transformation, we cannot lose sight of our true north: our customers. We must improve their experience at every turn.
At CloudBlue, we are committed to helping vendors and providers leverage technology to create better solutions for their end customers. For more insights from the Forum, view all sessions on demand here.