Redefining the Partner Experience: Why Traditional PRM Isn't Serving You Anymore


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Every PRM solution today is lagging in two mission-critical areas. They are:

  • Failing to deliver the simple and elegant user experience that people have come to expect everywhere else in their online lives
  • Unable to leverage any and all types of content to accomplish the kinds of results that B2B content marketing has achieved.

As a result, every customer of a traditional PRM — which is every solution out there — is probably losing business and failing to gain a competitive edge. It doesn't have to be that way.

According to Forrester Research, PRM has already shifted toward a "digital experience platform" market — and it's a market that's growing and coming into focus. Channel-based companies, and especially those in the technology sector, meanwhile, continue to suffer from:

  1. 1. Fragmented and inefficient systems
  2. 2. Poor content management
  3. 3. Solutions that are difficult to scale
  4. 4. Bad partner experiences that impact competitiveness
  5. 5. Lack of effective measurements and metrics to optimize performance

Forrester's 2015 assessment of the top players in the game shook out like this:

  • Adobe's integrated platform … mostly supports marketing.
  • Salesforce … requries infinite customization and needs more integration.
  • Oracle's integration … hinges on cloud.
  • Demandware's cloud and partner strategies … have pricing that limits relevance.
  • Acquia's platform … lacks breadth.
  • SAP hybris … has a raft of not-yet-mature products.

PRM has continued to fail the market because overcoming those two big challenges requires a vendor that has more than channel-focused technological vision and expertise. It requires a vendor with technological expertise plus these three characteristics:

  • Deep consulting experience
  • Rich understanding of the total content matrix
  • Breadth of experience in design-led solutions in the PRM and partner space

All of that needs to come to bear on the problem because the new vision of PRM redefines the partner by weaving existing PRM systems and content together in a single digital fabric. It's a vision of data being seamlessly collected and delivered across myriad systems and content sources — structured and unstructured alike.

It's time to redefine the partner experience through solution-driven technology and channel-led consulting experiences that weave PRM systems and content together in a single digital fabric. Nothing less than that will shift things in a way that addresses what companies, analysts, and partners all say is missing — even from today's best PRM technology.

Imagine a PRM that disrupts the market rather than simply offering one more variation on an increasingly confusing theme. Imagine a PRM that:

  • Creates an experience of a "single pane of glass" for the entire user community
  • Presents all of a company's systems, all of its content, from any channel, any source — unadulterated
  • Provides a scalable, best-in-class, next-generation partner and user experience right out of the box
  • Leverages Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure: enterprise-grade technology proven by some of the world's largest companies
  • Coexists with any system of record, including Salesforce

An advantageous market disrupter will offer a user experience that places the digital universe in proper order. It will simplify and enhance digital experiences by weaving user interactions across multiple systems and content — structured and unstructured alike — in a single digital fabric.

A platform that dramatically changes the game will not be a traditional PRM in any way. It won't merely rip and replace legacy systems. It will create an elegant user experience that integrates and enhances a company's existing PRM assets, from system-of-record software to any type of content.

In short, the new PRM will redefine the partner experience by weaving systems and content together into a single digital fabric. And that future is here.

James Hodgkinson is Founder & Chief Evangelist, Webinfinity

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