Partner Ecosystems – Accelerating Channel Sales Through Platform Marketplaces

Platform Ecosystems enable channel partner programs to emulate the business models pioneered by the digital giants like Apple, Facebook, Shopify and Amazon.

The implementation of ecosystems for channel partner programs is achieved through applying the Platform Business Model to the sector.

This is a trend that has underpinning digital transformation across many other industries, first pioneered by the the sharing economy digital giants.

Massive new startups like Uber taxis, Airbnb and many more are pioneering the ‘On Demand Economy’, implementing a Cloud-based On Demand Business Framework which overlays a ‘digital mesh’ across a marketplace of vendors, such as taxi drivers or travel accommodation.

The repeatable secret sauce is the Platform Business Model, described in detail through academic literature and popular business books. For example the MIT book ‘Platform Revolution‘ describes these hyper-scale disruptors like Netflix, Uber, Airbnb, Facebook, Twitter et al, as the book describes:

“Facebook, PayPal, Alibaba, Uber-these seemingly disparate companies have upended entire industries by harnessing a single phenomenon: the platform business model.”

“A “Network platform” is defined by the subset of components used in common across a suite of products (Boudreau, 2006) that also exhibit network effects. Value is exchanged among a triangular set of relationships including users, component suppliers (co-developers), and platform firms.”

To date ecosystems have mainly been defined in terms of specific business models, industries and technology domains. For example as McKinsey offer in this detailed special guide, typical scenarios are digital banking and the IoT.

Applying the concept to the public sector is defined as ‘GaaP’ – Government as a Platform. Tim O’Reilly coined the concept in this presentation and documented in this book section, describing how traditional IT for government should become more like Facebook, Twitter and the other Internet pioneers who have been harnessing the evolution of the Cloud to become ‘platforms’, doing so for government would enable a shared infrastructure that enables more rapid digital transformations.

In the feature video and this article Bernard Marr explains platform businesses and provides ten examples spanning car hire and parking through software development and testing, highlighting that  the ten most valuable companies in the world today are platform businesses: Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Tencent, and Alibaba.

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