When you put our gigantic global footprint of business-critical products and services alongside our fierce commitment to product innovation, it’s tempting to say there’s no company on Earth like HCLSoftware. Without a doubt, the essential part we play in the world economy — and our 360-degree awareness of how our technologies are engineered and used worldwide — give us a unique perspective to match our unique structure and role.
But in my view, there’s another factor whose impact on our business may be just as great — our partner philosophy, which shapes our strategy, helps to define our day-to-day operations, and provides a key element of our roadmap to the future.
We recently gave our partners an updated view of our approach to partnership at the HCLSoftware Business Partner Executive Summit, held in Barcelona last November. Without trying to recap everything shared at that remarkable event (which would require a documentary, not a blog post), I’d like to zoom in on a few aspects of that approach.
A key takeaway from that summit was HCLSoftware’s emphasis on achieving scale and growth together with our partners — using “together” in the strongest possible sense. The new partner program we presented in Barcelona, the engagement platform we’ve rolled out, and our 50/50 co-marketing approach all reflect this — as does the partner philosophy that underlies them.
There are two key aspects of our partner philosophy that define our approach.
The first sounds straightforward, but in fact goes much deeper than it might first appear: We empower our partners to create value for their customers. Briefly put, that means giving them the right positioning, the right training, the right pricing, and the knowledge and readiness required to interact with their customers effectively and at high velocity.
It also means structuring our teams to give them maximum incentive to help each partner succeed — including think-outside-the-box measures like evaluating our own sales teams based in part on the partner teams’ success. Our teams are fully invested in each partner’s unique concerns, customer experience, and sales outcomes, and they go the extra mile to deliver on that investment.
The second is something that’s sometimes called “subservient leadership” — and it’s essential to grasping our “Partners First” mantra. In a nutshell, it means leadership through listening, trust, and empathy — and using the deeper understanding that results to remove obstacles, provide resources, and open doors for our partners. Mind you, this doesn’t mean abdicating true leadership or relinquishing the power to guide or inspire. It does mean informing that guidance with a detailed knowledge of the partner’s concerns — and, equally important, those of their customers — and making those concerns our first priority.
We don’t do this just to be nice (although there’s nothing wrong with that), but because it works. For starters, it puts us in a better position to execute on strategy. What’s more, this emphasis on transparency and value creation multiplies the value created, often exponentially. In a command-and-control approach, directives are issued and executed from the top down, with value created at that single point of execution. But with team members empowered to engage responsively with partners and their customers, those points of value-creation are multiplied, and marketplace successes are magnified — for everyone.
HCLSoftware’s core values of trust, transparency, and value creation are the essential reason we’re able to put partners first in this way. Our leadership is committed to providing the tools and knowledge clients need to succeed with their customers — both to our own teams and to our partners. That lets us engage our partners in new and innovative ways that will multiply their success — and our own.