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The Job’s Not Finished. Our Journey to Partner Success

By Eric Selken

In 2009, basketball legend Kobe Bryant found himself in an enviable position. His team was up 2 games to 0 versus their opponents in a best-of-7 series to take home yet another NBA championship. After the game, the media was surprised that Kobe’s demeanor was not that of a jolly and content man, but instead he brought a dour, surly attitude that led to reporters calling him grumpy. But why?

Swish Basketball Basket


“The job is not finished,” said Bryant. “Is the job finished? I don’t think so.”

Kobe’s thoughts exemplify how Nutanix approaches and defines our efforts to drive partner success - not as a single action, survey score, or program launch; but as a continual journey where “great” isn’t enough nor is it the end of the journey.

Working with Medallia, the pioneer and market leader in Experience Management, Nutanix recently completed our first global Partner Net Promoter Score (NPS). The concept of NPS is commonplace in the world of B2C, but still new and emergent in the area of B2B with partner audiences. As a result, IT vendors are often left designing partner programs and initiatives in a vacuum, using unproven assumptions of how they believe partners will act and execute. By utilizing a Partner NPS methodology as an end-to-end feedback loop, vendors can use hard data and insights directly from partners to help shape these decisions.

The short survey not only asked our partners to rate their likelihood of recommending Nutanix as a trusted vendor, but also the factors that contributed to their NPS score such as ease of doing business, training offerings, and program benefit structure. When the results were tallied, our global Partner NPS score was recognized by Medallia to be best in class for B2B organizations. While we were pleased with the result as a sign of our relentless partner-centric approach, we haven’t gotten out the champagne bottles just yet. Like Kobe we believe our job is not finished, and our partner success journey has just begun.

The real value from this Partner NPS methodology will be the continual feeding of data-driven partner insights to facilitate action and improvement throughout the entire organization, including sales, strategy, programs, education, and marketing functions. 

By using mechanisms like Partner NPS to feel the real-time pulse of our partners and their needs to help their business thrive. We can complete the loop from feedback to action much faster and more intelligent than before. In fact, partner feedback helped shape the design points when launching our unified and simplified Elevate Partner Program, a next-gen Partner Portal, and our Partner Support Centers in the Americas and EMEA (and impending launch in APAC), where dedicated team members help partners of all sizes scale their revenue growth with Nutanix.

So what’s the lesson that other IT vendors can take away from our efforts? That when it comes to partner success, the job is NEVER finished. Continuous (and frank) feedback from partners that you entrust to be the face of your organization is absolutely essential to thrive in this ultra-competitive vendor landscape, and designing programs, training, incentives, and platforms with an outside-in view ultimately is the more fruitful path to take.

In the spirit of this blog, we want you to tell us what you think.  If you’re a current Nutanix partner, contact us today to let us know how we’re doing and provide suggestions on where we can improve.

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