How Espressive is Succeeding with Partners
Building a startup and trying to convince the world that we have an awesome mouse trap is no simple feat. And certainly, the emotional roller coaster that comes with startups is not for everyone. However, it is all worth it when things go well.
I was in a recent conversation with a prospective investor who asked me why we went down the path of partnering. Surely, doing a startup is hard enough that adding partners to the mix is just going to complicate matters. So why bother?
At Airespace, my first startup, we had OEM relationships with Nortel, Alcatel, and NEC. Yes, this certainly added a level of complexity to building our product and running the business, but we were able to leverage their salesforces, relationships, and partners, which caused our growth to propel. In fact, we reached #2 in market share in just 18 months.
Building a direct salesforce is expensive and requires startups to build relationships and awareness from scratch, which is expensive, lengthy, and error prone. When done correctly, the multiplying benefits provided by partners can help organizations expand their footprint by leveraging an expanded salesforce.
But doing so is not just as simple as hiring a partner manager and hoping for the best. A product needs to be built in a way that enables partners to integrate into their existing toolset, with an administration platform that empowers partners to control their destiny. Of course, all of this requires a very rigorous training program to enable partners to deploy and support their customers.
When we launched Espressive, we made a conscious decision to build a platform that would one day enable a partner program. Yes, this had a tax on our engineering team and our architecture, but it was a strategic investment.
I am more than thrilled that we recently announced two very meaningful partnerships; DXC and Ivanti. Both DXC and Ivanti looked at all options; build and buy. They looked at toolkits and other options, doing a thorough competitive analysis. I am humbled that they concluded that Espressive had the best offering and was the most partner-friendly company in our space.
DXC, a leading Fortune 500 global services technology partner, recently announced Espressive will supply DXC Digital Support Services with a consumer-like virtual agent that empowers employees and delivers a personalized experience to resolve IT issues quickly, while increasing productivity. In addition to being used internally to support their 130,000+ employees, Espressive is deployed for several of their high-profile customers – and we are just getting started!
Ivanti, a leader in Enterprise Service Management (ESM), recently announced Ivanti Neurons Digital Assistant, which is an AI-powered virtual support agent powered by Espressive Barista that enables Ivanti customers and partners to automatically and instantly resolve up to 76% of employee questions, deploy in as little as six weeks with an ROI on day 1, and recoup 1.2 weeks of productivity per employee per year. They’ve already won several customers, and I am particularly excited that we have been helping Ivanti win highly competitive deals.
Yes, the life of a startup is filled with ups, and the occasional down, but this is one of those incredible up moments that I wanted to share with the world.
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