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Susan is an independent digital communications and user experience strategist. She helps companies discover their brand voice and grow their business.
Shubharthi is currently part of the strategic marketing team at Regalix. His expertise mainly lies in the account-based marketing and programmatic advertising space.
Priscilla is a content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.
Moulishree is a freelance journalist with over 7 years of experience, she writes research-based analytical stories on technology and business.
Avanish is a Bangalore-based journalist who writes on business with a specific focus on technology companies.
Priyanka has covered every aspect of the IT industry as a tech journalist since its early days. She is now an independent writer, working on subjects like digital marketing, enterprise technology and high-performance computing, among others.
A freelance content writer, S. Sahu was the former editor of TCS's house magazine at Tata Consultancy Services. He developed tech marketing collateral for the company and helped compile and edit books and journal articles on TCS's technology innovations. He also ghostwrites print and online publications.
Prajwala is a Bangalore-based freelance journalist who writes on social issues, stories of human interest, and art and culture, among others.
Rajesh Nanarpuzha is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at IIM Udaipur. Previously, he has worked as a brand manager in Dabur, and as a business consultant in the retail and consumer goods domains at Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services. Rajesh has an MBA from IIM Indore and a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad.
Priyokumar Singh Naorem
He is a passionate UI & UX designer who thrives on creating engaging creative solutions.
A freelance illustrator, artist, graphic novelist and designer. She has designed and illustrated several book covers. Her personal illustrations so far have attempted to seize the fleeting absurdity and mood of places, things and people she encounters in a childlike, intuitive and expressive manner with closure, beauty and innocence – the things that she desires.
She is an artist and an educator who has taught and lectured at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oxford University, the Victoria and Albert Museum among other institutions. Her installations, paintings, thread work and sculptures have been exhibited in Saatchi Gallery - London, C24 Gallery - New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art – Lyon, among other notable galleries and museums from around the world.
A commerce graduate from Delhi University, Parul pursued a masters in fine arts from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. As an artist, she is interested in line as a subject which has led her to follow architectural lines in built environments. She says she is also interested in how we perceive the environment that we inhabit and what happens when a subtle shift is made in things which we have been used to seeing in a certain way. We present six of her artworks here.
Shweta Malhotra is a graphic artist and designer from Mumbai, based in New Delhi.
After working with ad agencies and design studios for close to 8 years, she branched out on her own and currently works independently.s Her overall design aesthetic is minimal, bold and graphic, a response to the maximalist visual language prevalent in India.
Rithika Merchant (b.1986) received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design, New York in 2008. She has exhibited extensively since her graduation. Recent exhibitions include a duo show “Reliquaries: The Remembered Self” at TARQ, Mumbai; “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art” at 80WSE Gallery, New York; and group shows at Summerhall, Edinburgh and Artry Gallery, Kochi. Her work has been included in multiple group shows at Stephen Romano Gallery and The Morbid Anatomy Museum, New York. Born in Mumbai, she now divides her time between Mumbai and Barcelona.
Aniruddh Mehta is an artist based out of Mumbai, India. Trained in graphic design from the London College of Communications, Aniruddh is a self-taught illustrator and currently works as an independent freelance designer. He believes in finding the right balance between art and graphic design. He has worked closely in collaboration with Bhavishyavani Future Soundz, Qilla Records, Taxi Fabric, Adidas, Dell and United Colours of Benetton. He also goes by the moniker, ‘thebigfatminimalist’ and his style ranges from bold minimal forms to more intricate pieces exploring patterns and geometry.
Paramesh is an artist who enjoys working in both the realistic and abstract style of painting. He loves working with water color. Featured in this issue are a set of water color works that he has created exclusively for us on the subject of digital transformation.
Based in Mumbai, Chandrashekhar Thakur is a Senior Art Director and Illustrator at Truebil.com and the Founder of HAPPiNESS For You. He loves working with new styles of art and considers illustration to be his forte. Chandrashekhar has completed his BFA from DY Patil College of Applied Art.
Concept and Direction
Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.
Partner relationship management involves a lot of complex activities that include partner programs, policies, people and platforms, with the ultimate goal of driving partner performance and satisfaction higher. It’s essential to have the right policies and programs in place for onboarding, training and supporting partners, says Aimee Catalano, Head of Global Partner Marketing at Google Cloud. Her team is responsible for leading joint marketing strategy and global execution across the portfolio of Google Cloud partners. Aimee is a recognized thought leader in defining joint go-to-market strategies with strategic alliances and partner ecosystems.
Interviewed by Swastika Singh
/ / How has the PRM function evolved in your company over the past few years?
Google Cloud partners are essential to our commitment to help enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter and stay secure. To deliver on that commitment, we’re investing deeply in the team, tools, and technologies supporting our partner ecosystem. As the ecosystem has grown, the top priority is how we can maintain a strong partner experience--with an emphasis on simplifying, collaborating, and optimizing for the partner’s growth. We’ve done this in tandem with our partners. Their feedback and collaboration has been a critical component to forming our PRM strategy.
From a marketing perspective, we’re investing in enhanced marketing support including tools such as the Partner Marketing Studio, which allows partners to access, co-brand, customize, and execute content and campaigns in a single spot. We increased our investment in the Marketing Development Fund by 3x between 2017 and 2018, to enable us to go deeper with key partners.
/ / How do you recruit your partners? What parameters do you consider while choosing a partner?
Given the tremendous growth opportunity that partners get, especially with Google Cloud expanding its portfolio of innovative products and solutions, there’s been no need to invest in broad recruitment. Instead, we continue to focus on the development of partners who are delivering the greatest customer outcomes. In choosing new partners, we’re evaluating areas within the ecosystem where we’d like to add additional capacity or expertise--looking at coverage by country, region, and solution area for our customers.
/ / What are the challenges that you face while managing your partners?
Our partner ecosystem is global and the cloud space is growing quickly. Top of mind for me is how we can continue to deepen our relationship with partners through the right engagements. We host in-person Partner Summit events worldwide that allow us to engage in a high-touch and “Googley” way, while also offering a variety of online engagement opportunities as well, to ensure regular, meaningful engagement.
/ / Is partner onboarding a critical function in partner management? Should companies create different onboarding programs for different partners?
Yes, having a well-documented program for partner onboarding is critical, and the more tailored that program can be to not only the partner type, but also the individual roles within the partner, the better. Providing systems/tools to help manage the relationship is also equally important in the onboarding stage as well as ongoing relationship management. There should also be sales/marketing/technical/partnership/support enablement that goes hand in hand to ensure partners are successful.
/ / What are the different partner performance metrics you track?
Similar to most enterprise companies, we track partner-sourced and partner-influenced pipeline and bookings, along with the return-on-investment from joint marketing programs. Given that the Google Cloud business is growing at an exponential rate, we also look at a partner’s year-on-year growth to get a good pulse on which partners can grow at the same pace.
/ / What are the different content assets that you create for your partners? What role do they play in enabling your partners?
Google Cloud is invested in a 360 degree approach to partner enablement that supports a partner’s business through marketing, sales, technical, and partnership benefits and training, with content being a key component here. From a marketing perspective, Google offers a number of great resources to help inspire and equip marketers -- Think with Google, Academy for Ads, and Digital Garage to name a few. My team supplements these resources with Google Cloud specific marketing training and content, to provide additional best practice content around topics including event marketing, lead nurture, and account-based marketing. Our goal is to support our partners in running successful integrated marketing campaigns.
/ / What are the different types of training that you conduct for your partners?
Similar to our content strategy, we offer training across a variety of delivery formats that support a partner in building marketing, sales, and technical expertise. In addition to our standard certification program, we now have specializations for Application Development, Cloud Migration, Data Analytics, Education, Enterprise Collaboration, Infrastructure, Data Based Services, Machine Learning, Security, and Training.
/ / What role does MDF (Marketing Development Fund) play in partner marketing? How do you allocate the MDF amongst your partners?
Google says it’s the fastest growing cloud platform in the world (link). It’s important that we enable our partners to keep pace with that growth through resources and investment. including MDF. Some of the factors we consider when allocating funds include partner tier in the Google Cloud partner program, past performance, and overall partner readiness to sell and market Google Cloud.
/ / Do you create co-branded marketing content for your partners? What are the other partner activities that you undertake?
Co-branded marketing content is an important piece of our overall demand generation strategy with partners. Our team invests quite a bit in building content to help educate and engage prospects and customers on their journey to the cloud--and we are always looking to enable our partners to leverage these assets to generate awareness and demand with their own customers and prospects. To do that, we create campaign kits for partners, which includes a suite of content targeting a specific stage in the customer journey, for example, lead acquisition, lead nurture, lead conversion, or sales. Appropriate content assets may also be co-branded and adapted to ensure the partner’s services and solutions are also front and center.
/ / Do you think companies are investing enough in PRM?
From my experience, the companies who prioritize partners as a core element of their business invest in PRM appropriately. But it’s more than just dollar investment. The sales teams, marketing teams, product teams, etc need to be partner-centric in their approach. This behavioral management is more of a people and operating model commitment, and also an important business investment.
/ / How are the evolution of technologies like LMS (Learning Management System), Lead distribution through Marketing Automation changing the PRM function?
No doubt we’re receiving constant innovation from a systems and tools standpoint that’s providing more sophistication around PRM. This is offering stronger enablement, greater scale, and quicker deal acceleration.
/ / What are the trends/technologies that you think will drive PRM in the future? How should businesses gear up for this?
Partners are looking for ways to gain a stronger “trusted advisor” relationship with their customers. And now more than ever, customers are looking for personalization in every piece of content or message they receive. Businesses should invest in marketing programs that offer rich, educational content for their partners to share with their prospects and customers. Additionally, partners hear that marketing data science is being leveraged to assist with targeting, propensity to buy modeling, etc. However, most partners don’t have the resources to do this function on their own. Businesses should look at how they can better support their partner community with the right data and analytics processes to support successful, highly targeted go-to-market plans.
PRM systems should provide an intuitive way of engaging
Mike Fino, COO & Jacqueline D. Woods, CMO, IBM Partner Ecosystem
Taking your partner along: PRM in organizations
Partner Relationship Management (PRM) has been considered a natural extension to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions.
Managing and growing a diverse set of partners and alliances is critical to brand success
Jay McBain, Principal Analyst for Global Channels, Forrester
Automation helps serve more partners with fewer resources
Allison Gapter, Vice President of Global Partner Marketing, Demand Generation, SAP
Enable your partners to be modern marketers
Michelle Chiantera, Vice President of Americas Marketing and Communications, Cisco