Partnerships in Software: The era of the Ecosystem

Partner programs are becoming more ubiquitous with every passing day. So it is important that you know which type of partner you might want.

Partnerships in Software blog post by HelloGuru

We’ve heard different phrasings of the same idea over and over: “It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this”, “No man is an island”, “There’s strength in numbers”… You get the idea. And we see these all over because, well, it’s true. No one can survive alone, and that is why collaboration is so important, why partnerships are so crucial. And that is true for almost everything.

Software, of course, is not the exception.

But when speaking about businesses, partnering might not be as straightforward as just lending a hand or asking for help when the situation requires it. It takes a little more planning, strategy and know-how. Lucky for you, we can show you the ropes to get there.

Partner programs for tech companies are becoming more and more ubiquitous with every passing day, and you don’t want to be late to the party. You don’t want to be the kid at school with no group for the assignment. But you also want to know who is the right match for you, because you want support and sharing the weight, not a burden to carry. So it is important that you know, first of all, which type of partner you might want or need.

Channel Partnerships

Basically, the advocates for what you are selling. Channel Partners can sell, manage or deliver your products, aiding you with what is sometimes called “indirect” sales.

You might be looking for a Channel Partner if you are interested in expanding your brand in another country, for example. Or perhaps your SaaS turns out to work really well with certain types of institutions you don’t really know how to reach, but you are aware about potential partners whose business is exactly selling products to those institutions.

According to the Crossbeam 2021 State of the Partner Ecosystem Report, 82% of B2B SaaS companies have some sort of channel partnership, while only 18% do not.

Integrations and Tech Partnerships

This happens when a company and another organization want to improve their respective products by having some part of the other party integrated in their product. In simpler words: you both want your product to be better, and sharing what you created with your partner will make that possible. This can happen in a myriad of ways, from data transfers, to co-creating go-to-market strategies, and more.

This type of partnership contributes to the idea of the Ecosystem in software, in which various tools from different developers and backgrounds can work together seamlessly. Think about how HelloGuru easily lets you connect numerous sources and destinations to sync data, transform or make calculations to that data, or facilitate automation processes through said data syncs.

According to the Crossbeam 2021 State of the Partner Ecosystem Report, 67% of B2B SaaS companies have some sort of channel partnership, while 33% do not.

Strategic Partnerships

Strategic partnerships are all about the big picture. They might overlap with channel and technology partnerships, with the difference that this one usually means a long term commitment. It happens when two or more companies work together for a common goal over a considerable period of time and broader scope than the previous types of partnerships.

It is even possible that during this alliance one of the partners ends up acquiring the other, or some branch of it. This happened with Slack and Atlassian when the former absorbed the users from Hipchat, or Adobe’s acquisition of Workfront.

According to the Crossbeam 2021 State of the Partner Ecosystem Report, 81% of B2B SaaS companies have some sort of channel partnership, while just 19% do not.

It’s safe to say that some sort of collaboration is necessary in today’s technological landscape. The era of the monolithic software companies —where one of them serves all your needs— is ending and it is giving its place to ecosystems. So be sure to have a place in the one you might fit and find the other organizations with whom you can create this symbiotic relationship. Just remember that it takes time, and that FOMO should not be what informs your decision for partnering.


Check out HelloGuru’s Partner Program here, and see if it is a good fit for your business.