by Dale Taormino
The number of conversations and projects we have had with clients and prospects around integration has increased considerably in the last several years. I see this as a very good sign for both vendors and their partners. Why? It is concrete evidence that previously disparate systems are coming together to benefit both partners and vendors.
For partners, it positively impacts the ‘ease of doing business’ quotient (that long running quest) and improves joint go-to-market execution. For vendors, it brings new insights and knowledge of their channel (“big data” in the channel) and improves program effectiveness and ROI.
From CCI’s perspective (our solution is typically the ’system of record’ of all incentive-related data) below is a list of some of the primary data flows we see to and from:
Data flows IN:
- Partner profile/record info from CRM or PRM ‘System of Record’ (Relayware, SFDC, SAP, Oracle, etc.)
- Scrubbed POS sales data for rebates, performance rewards, SPIFs (from POS vendors – Zyme, Channel Insight, etc.)
- Other ‘Incentivizable’ transactional data (like training completed) from which dollars or points are earned
Data flows OUT:
- Transaction data going to Business Intelligence tools (Business Objects, QlikView, etc.)
- Budget/balance data going to financial applications for accounting and/or credit application (SAP, Oracle, etc.)
BI-DIRECTIONAL data flows:
- Single sign on exchanges (SAML) with partner portal and other systems (PRM, LMS, MRM, etc.)
- Marketing portal/marketing automation platforms exchanges (like Averetek) for full marketing lifecycle data (budget available, funded & non-funded activities, approvals, etc.)
- Incentive funds available/pay-out totals exchanges with PRM or other system that houses partner scorecard or dashboard info on partners
- Lead/opportunity management exchanges (example, CCI’s platform is used by partners to submit, but data is pushed into vendor CRM system)
The benefits that can be achieved through the integration of several ‘best of class’ systems will almost always beat the ‘mile wide, inch deep’ approach. What’s the most exciting part? It’s getting easier as more organizations make standard APIs available for their systems.