What I learned from my first episodes...

I've really enjoyed the experience of setting up and doing a podcast. It has allowed me to develop new skills like learning to build and host a website using WordPress and I've had the opportunity to reconnect with some old friends.

This week marks the 10th episode and I appreciate the listeners and followers who supported my concept and passion for disruptive technology and partnering.

Technology is advancing so quickly today. Gone are the days of the 3-year product release cycle as technology giants like Microsoft, Amazon, Google release products and services weekly across a myriad of technologies associated with cloud computing, productivity, mobility, artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT and the like...its all advancing so quickly.

As I’ve spoken with technology leaders, former colleagues and industry partners – I’ve learned two critical things about the current state of the “art and science of partnering”.

First, technology giants like Microsoft, AWS and Google - despite the size of their organizations struggle to scale their compelling technologies "broadly" to what they hope is a growing set of partners. Secondly, partners that sell, deploy or build upon these technologies feel they need to stay in greater “lock step” and aligned with the technology and the organizations. 

Existing readiness models - industry newsletters, blog posts, webinars, partner conferences and technology briefings are all still incredibly valuable. What I’ve tried to achieve through this podcast format and interviews is easy access to useful and actionable information – that you can listen to when you want and where you want. It's like walking the hallways of Microsoft and other tech giants - to connect, innovate and align for success – on your terms.

I ask questions that don't normally get asked and bring a behind the scenes viewpoint to each episode. I deconstruct strategies through questions. I’m also a connector at heart and have always believed in the business principle of "one plus one equals three or more" – which is something I learned over 20 years ago from Steven Covey's 7 habits of Highly Effective People.

This podcast is what I refer to as "Connection at Scale" and in the coming weeks and months I hope to continue to evolve the format to bring a broader range of business leaders to the podcast.

I’ve really enjoyed listening again to the previous interviews on how to best engage with various aspects of Microsoft's US Partner business*. Eric Loper was the first interview guest and discussed the National Solution Provider Program - Microsoft's premier and elite program for the top 35 partners in the US. William Lewallen who leads Cloud Solution Providers in the US talked about this rapidly growing program and how partners can ramp up. Stephanie Martin joined recently to outline the Partner Seller Program and how to engage with the Microsoft field. I’ve also been fortunate to be joined by my old team - Tom O'Neil, Bill Hawkins and Mike Batt each shared the incredible opportunities for partners working in Education, Healthcare and Government.

Helping partners to grow by learning from other partners success is also a goal, and my first partner guest Tony Safoian tells an incredible story of how he took a small family run IT shop and grew it to a premier partner to Microsoft, Google and Facebook - all while minimizing business and sales conflicts one might expect from competing business practices. I've also stepped outside the traditional partner bounds and featured Microsoft’s Government team - with Jonathan Friebert's call to partners to help shape and drive government policies supporting digital privacy and computer literacy. 

Key themes from the first interview episodes are:

  • Transformation is happening fast and advanced partners have found new models and are evolving their business models quickly - other partners need to get on board.
  • Partner often struggle and fight the business transformation and moving their business models from "margin from transaction" to new models delivering cloud services at scale.
  • Partners that get it right are listening and emulating the technology giants, commitment is key and changing the business model is "hard". All stakeholders need to be on board. 

My favorite part of each interview is when I get to ask each of these amazing guests about their personal and professional journey. I find this part to be valuable to any listener learning to grow and hear how these incredibly bright and talented people got to where they are today. It's an aspect of the format I hope to expand upon in future episodes. Frankly anyone looking to "amp up their game" in the business world could benefit from listening. I share more details of these nuggets in the podcast and show notes.

If you have not listened to the podcast, now is your chance by going to iTunes and subscribing to "Ultimate Guide to Partnering". You can also review this podcast by going to iTunes and searching "Ultimate Guide to Partnering" and clicking on the album art and hitting the ratings tab. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

I hope you enjoy this podcast and thank you for supporting.

Vince Menzione

*Clicking on each guests name will take you directly to that episode of the podcast.