This guest post is written by Microsoft Partner Accenture.

As the Microsoft Global High Tech Summit comes into view, it becomes increasingly apparent that there are fundamental changes taking place in the High Tech sector.  Businesses today face unprecedented challenges and opportunities. In particular, we are seeing a drive amongst leaders in the electronics and high tech space to review their current channel models' ability to efficiently and effectively scale.  These leaders are also reevaluating their ability to bring multiple parties together to collaboratively market, sell and service end customers.

Research produced by Accenture in December 2010 revealed that among five strategic business activities, 30 percent ranked managing channel partnerships as the most fundamental.  This is a significant shift, from only five years ago when revenues gained through indirect channels by electronics and high-tech companies made up only 30 percent (or less).  Now approximately 65 percent of revenue for Global 2000 enterprises is driven or influenced by indirect partners.

Traditional customer relationship management (CRM) solutions lack the ability to jointly manage business with partners.  At Accenture we are seeing leading companies investing in collaborative Partner Relationship Management (PRM) strategies and applications that offer shared infrastructure to vendors and partners. The emergence of a collaborative business model for PRM is helping organizations team effectively with partners to achieve greater global reach, to increase revenues and to make significant strides on the road to high performance.

Software as a Service (SaaS) or partner relationship management capabilities in the cloud are enabling the emerging collaborative business models.  Subscribing to PRM applications hosted in "the cloud" provide for faster availability of partner relationship processes to the partner ecosystem, greater business agility and lower infrastructure and ongoing maintenance costs.

During the Summit, you are invited to learn more about our Enterprise PRM on Demand solution by visiting the Accenture and Avanade booth for a demonstration. This new offering is designed to help organizations build more dynamic, collaborative and profitable relationships with their channel partners.


Ron Ref is a senior executive in the Accenture CRM Service Line. He can be reached at