The TEMPO of Ecosystem Orchestration

The TEMPO of Ecosystem Orchestration

November 30, 2021

In his recent keynote a few weeks ago at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Jay McBain laid out his top 10 uber level trends for the Ecosystem Decade. #1 on that list was “The Ecosystem Orchestrator Becomes the New Trusted Advisor.” Jay is talking here about companies that, among other things, create partnerships focused on meeting the needs of shared customers. These Orchestrators have influence currency and attract partners that extend their offering, creating greater value for customers and others in their ecosystem.

We’ve come up with an acronym that captures the primary operating rules for Ecosystem Orchestrators, based off the musical metaphor: TEMPO.

-Trust through Service makes partnerships thrive.

-Embedded Partnering bakes partner roles into core business functions, especially product, marketing, sales, and customer success.

-Monetizing partnering Synergies is essential across influence, solutions, go-to-market, vision, and relationships.

-Partners are your product, no longer just your channel, they are co-builders of joint solutions and joint go-to-market motions.

-Outside-in approach to governance and understanding how your customers’ and partners’ ecosystems can become part of your ecosystem.

Trust through Service

In my blog, Business Partnerships – In Service of a Greater Good, I pointed out that the power in partnerships lies in the fact that they are in service of something beyond the self – including both the partner and the common customer. The operating rule here is to focus on building Trust through Service. Partnerships and ecosystems prosper when the Orchestrator internalizes the mantra that building trust and servicing the needs of others is THE core Ecosystem operating principle.

Embedded Partnering

The best partner organizations are measured based on the number of people embedded in key functions that drive partner success. This includes product teams co-building joint solutions within integrated ecosystem roadmaps, marketing teams that drive co-marketing campaigns to create EQL (Ecosystem Qualified Leads), sales teams that relieve quota co-selling partner solutions with revenue share agreements, and customer success teams that sell-in partner integrations because they reduce churn and drive cross/up-sell motions. Embedded Partnering requires Orchestrators to think strategically across co-build, co-market, co-sell, and co-retain dimensions.

Monetizing Synergies

The economic engine behind ecosystem orchestration is monetizing synergies as I outlined in my blog, Everyone Loves a Good Synergy. By understanding and leveraging the Synergy Model and its multiplier effect, Ecosystem Orchestrators can select, nurture, and leverage partnerships to scale their business. The best performing Orchestrators leverage the Synergy Model to create a positive multiplier effect across Influence, Solution, GTM, Vision and Relationships.

Partners as your Products

The superpower of great Ecosystem Orchestrators (especially those who operate a platform business model) is to get other people to add product or solution value to drive network effects.  The operating rule here is to treat your partners as part of your product, not just organizations that help you sell. The best ecosystems are IP-based with partner solutions included in an ecosystem-product roadmap – beyond just the company product roadmap. When partners are integral to a shared roadmap, they create Ecosystem-Led Growth (ELG).

Outside-in Orientation

The best Ecosystem Orchestrators look to find opportunity outside their immediate GTM swim lanes, through adjacencies with their customers’ and partners’ ecosystems. In a blog back in March, we encouraged readers to engage with customers, partners, and others to gather regular intelligence on shifting roles and value creation ‘hubs’. Most companies do not systematically collect data on trends in their customer and partner ecosystems beyond their immediate GTM. Tools like Crossbeam and Reveal, among others, can help ID adjacencies.

All the instruments in your ecosystem orchestra need to play in time and it’s up to you as the Ecosystem Orchestrator to set the TEMPO.  You too can create an Ecosystem masterpiece by building trust, embedding partnering, monetizing synergies, making partners your product, and thinking from the outside-in.