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Building high impact partner ecosystems

April 30, 2021


In brief

A changing relationship

Customers’ expectations for end-to-end, integrated, tailored experiences based on a deep understanding of their needs—a strategic strength of traditional partners—have increased.

Partners can now select from a broad set of providers. The ascent of cloud providers like Microsoft, Google and Amazon Web Services has been a change in the mix that now makes up a partner’s revenue.

Co-innovating for growth

Jointly innovating to address critical and emerging customers’ needs and achieving the growth goals of both partners and providers.

Collaborating at scale

Enabling collaboration with and across their partners and the larger ecosystem, acting as a catalyst when providing a differentiated solution.

Co-investing for the future

Coordinating their investments with their partners to ensure alignment on how to meet customer expectations and maximize business outcomes.

Rising expectations

It’s crucial for providers to move beyond transactional partnering models and, focus on the capability areas and moments that matter to the partner to drive growth for both parties.


report supporting their customers’ digital transformations.


report delivering solutions to new customers such as new geographies and small and medium businesses.


report developing more solutions on top of provider platforms or products.

Co-innovating for growth

Identify compatible offerings

The second most important criterion for wanting to work with providers is compatibility with partner offerings (33 percent).

Target investments for co-innovation

More than 80 percent of partners with top-tier provider status prioritize providers based on their investments that explicitly help drive innovation.

Collaborate to create joint offerings

Companies and their partners can overcome barriers with products, services and solutions that can result in more profitable customer experiences.

Co-investing for the future

Collaborating at scale

Collaborative ecosystems

In this model, providers and partners must shift from traditional resellers to supporting collaboration on platform deals for better results.

Blurring boundaries of provider-partner ecosystems

Future enterprise systems will blur/ are already blurring the boundaries of the organization and its ecosystem of partners, suppliers and customers.

Orchestrating the ecosystem

As an orchestrator of the ecosystem, providers can help partners find other partners to co-create solutions, leveraging a collaborative platform.

Reducing friction

Providers should look at providing experiences that fit partners’ desires to grow, reduce operational spend and gain opportunities with customers.

Choosing a technology provider

Partners are interested in a holistic package of skills, capabilities and experiences, technology being only one aspect of it all.

The importance of analytics capabilities

Partners have pointed to the maturity of providers’ analytics capabilities as an important factor in choosing to work with them.

Enables scale

Eighty percent of partners agree that, without AI, they will be unable to scale.

Enables collaboration

Sellers and providers can provide a tailored solution by sharing customer insights to improve wins and enable deals at a faster.

Enables growth

AI and analytics can provide the insights to support growth for both partners and vendors.

How to be the provider of choice?

About the Authors

Dawn Anderson

Global Sales & Service Lead – Accenture Song


Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting, Customer, Sales, & Service


Principal Director – Strategy & Consulting, Customer Sales & Services


Senior Managing Director – Enterprise Functions Networks Lead, North America


Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Ecosystem & Growth Strategy


Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Ecosystem & Growth Strategy

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