Putting partners first for better brand growth

Basware is collaborating closely with its partner network to explore new business avenues

Alex Smith
By Alex Smith on 25 February 2021
Putting partners first for better brand growth
Basware

Basware has been developing its suite of procure-to-pay solutions for over 30 years, counting some of the world’s biggest organisations among its customers. For much of this history, the company has taken an independent approach to development. However, it has decided to adapt its approach to what it sees as a changing landscape, placing its partners at the centre of its new strategy.

“We’ve been around for over 30 years as a company, which is exciting in itself,” says Sean Delaney, vice president of global alliances for Basware. “A lot of what we’ve done to get to this point has been by ourselves. However, we now recognise that we can’t do the next phase of our growth without partners.” 

By utilising its partners’ knowledge of the market, Basware has been able to tackle new needs and challenges. This includes the crisis brought on by the outbreak of Covid-19. 

“The first thing that partners bring is a better understanding of what our customers’ complexities are, and insights into how we can potentially solve them,” said Delaney. “They bring a much broader solution set to the table, which means that when we face a complex problem, our partners are best placed to help us solve it. This has been emphasised during the pandemic, as they have helped us to deal with the constraints of remote working.

“They are also helping us to improve the product. We just kicked off a programme which gathers together our key partners in a council forum, where their role will not only to be to do some idea sharing, but also to help influence our road map for the future.”

The company works with its partners through two programmes, sell-with and sell-through. While the sell-through programme has been established for several years, the sell-with programme is a recent addition to the company’s partner landscape. 

“We have some great capabilities in our sell-through partner network,” said Delaney. “I think our sell-through partners benefit not only from winning deals but by growing their services revenue by helping us on the implementation side. Meanwhile, our sell-with programme is the newest piece of the jigsaw puzzle, and we’re seeing exponential growth in this area with our partners. We’ve redesigned our online training experience with our partners, and host regular webinars detailing product updates. We’ve also developed a shadowing programme where partners can watch and learn on our projects to get them to a point where they can start implementing these solutions themselves. 

Delaney sees the partner-first strategy as an exciting prospect for the future, offering significant opportunities for further growth. 

“We’re now saying to partners ‘You could be part of this new ecosystem,’” he says. “It’s really unusual for such an established solution provider like Basware to be at this point and be developing something brand new like this. It’s an almost unique opportunity for partners to grow their revenues in ways they had never thought of before.”

This article was originally published in the Winter 2020 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.

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