Deeper Dives

How to Become an Ecosystem Led Company in 2022

Here’s how you can take your learnings from Ecosystem Week and put them into revenue-driving action.

The largest ecosystem event in history took place in June 2022 — and it was only possible because PartnerStack partnered up with PartnerHacker to make it happen. The two startups pulled in more than 1,500 registrants who were as eager as the rest of the industry to find out “WTF is an ecosystem?” at Ecosystem Week 2022. It was through this partnership that we found out.

Industry experts and partner professionals from around the globe came together to talk ecosystems, partnership trends, and actionable insights. The conversations couldn’t have been more timely as SaaS continues to evolve with markets demanding more efficient growth, helping us to understand why the industry continues to move towards indirect monetization via ecosystems as the solution. 

Key takeaways from the packed event include:

  • The fact that the landscape is changing and old approaches are becoming dated
  • Companies can’t (and shouldn’t) do it alone as at the heart of ecosystems are partnerships
  • The understanding of what an ecosystem business looks like is pivotal for leadership and a future without sales reps may still be on the horizon

It’s clear that an ecosystem-led strategy is a viable option to future-proof your SaaS business. Even successful venture firms like Andreesen Horowitz (also known as a16z) recognize the value of partner sourced revenue. “We will turn down a company with a projected 3x revenue that is 100 per cent direct, in favour of a company projecting 2x growth with 50 per cent partner sourced revenue,” they said at a Supernode conference. 

The potential can expand beyond tech integrations and partner programs, which is why the concept of the ecosystem can be revolutionary.

The current state of the marketplace supports the call-to-action for ecosystems to be launched, integrated, and to help transform sustainable B2B markets. Solutions start with an ecosystem mindset — recognizing that the key to strong distribution is building the exact right networks and connecting them accordingly. This is what efficient growth can look like. Research and advisory company Forrester also recognizes the revenue potential with mature partner programs. “Companies with mature partner programs are growing revenue at 2x the rate of companies with low maturity partner programs,” they said. 

Illustration of scrabble-like tiles reading "scale"

The value generated through ecosystems strengthens all of the companies attached to it. Ultimately, an ecosystem is the orchestration of all your indirect channels that scale customers, growth, and revenue. 

The potential can expand beyond tech integrations and partner programs, which is why the concept of the ecosystem can be revolutionary. After all, 76 per cent of business leaders surveyed by Accenture agree current business models will be unrecognizable in the next five years — noting ecosystems will be the key change.

Considering ecosystems are the most efficient way to scale your SaaS business, there’s no wonder this concept is top of mind for business leaders. If you’re interested in meeting customers across their entire journey, an ecosystem allows awareness to advocacy by connecting affiliate, influencer, referral, and reseller channels into it. 

The good news? PartnerStack can help. Whether you’re looking to activate or scale ecosystems for your company, PartnerStack can help you launch and join existing ecosystems.

Start here: Discover your ecosystem for your business

Aligning your business with those who can elevate your mission has never been so smooth and accessible. Begin by discovering your ecosystem, call out the types of partners out there who best fit your business and its values, and if you don’t have a formal relationship yet, you’ll be able to start attracting partners with your ecosystem.

The current state of the marketplace supports the call-to-action for ecosystems to be launched, integrated, and to help transform sustainable B2B markets.

In 2022, PartnerStack can help create a partnership network built to drive revenue and sustain growth with customers. Software businesses have always depended on partnerships and channels to be able to find and deliver their products to market — the ecosystem helps support this growth efficiently and at scale. Because PartnerStack is currently the only purpose-built platform for B2B SaaS companies to grow their business through channel relationships, it’s the exact right platform to transform your business to an ecosystem-led company.

Next: Find out what existing ecosystems you can plug into

In addition to discovering your own ecosystem, there are ways to start enjoying the benefits of pre-existing ecosystems by joining them and finding appropriate networks that fit with your business needs. Through affiliate partners, there’s potential to integrate into ecosystems that can help promote your services and products. 

illustration of ecosystems integrating with each other in B2B SaaS

The PartnerStack Ecosystem network gives access to more than 70,000 active partners selling B2B cloud. Through this ecosystem, offerings include infrastructure to support various partnership channels, support and the ability to step up partner experiences through the world’s largest catalog of B2B SaaS vendors (and their ecosystems) and the connection to B2B SaaS vendors with high value partners leveraging the data created within our ecosystem.

For example, part of PartnerStack’s ecosystem is Ingram Micro Cloud (IMC) and CloudBlue — which gives partners part of these partner programs the ability to list on both marketplaces within their first 60 days. This seamless integration with IMC lives within the ecosystem, allowing vendors to tap right into two partner bases to develop their channel programs.

Becoming an ecosystem-led company in B2B SaaS has never been so essential

Whether you’re looking to unlock your own ecosystem or if you’re prioritizing accessing existing ecosystems, the PartnerStack ecosystem can enable and grow both. Through our ecosystem, our data provides the first complete picture of revenue activity across the Cloud Vendor landscape. This data is not manually added by vendors — instead, our data is generated by vendor performance.

PartnerStack is the only ecosystem platform built specifically to meet the needs of B2B SaaS businesses, and exists as a solution for B2B SaaS vendors seeking to maximize growth with partnerships at scale. Innovation is just an ecosystem away.

Related: Quiz: How much do you really know about partner programs?

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