With the consolidation of the UK Channel, many suppliers are being asked to manage significantly broad and complex portfolios of technology and services. Convergent technologies across Voice, Data and Mobile, blurring layers between Application and Infrastructure, and complex delivery models from on-premise support to Cloud, or Reactive to Proactive Managed Services. With all of these multi-dimensional models, creating and maintaining a structured and pragmatic approach to portfolio and product management can be time consuming and complex.

Beyond the day to day portfolio, the downstream management of internal and external communications associated with changes in portfolio is an overhead most IT and Telecoms suppliers forget. Ensuring that the removal of a product from portfolio, or changes to pricing structures, are correctly briefed to market and sales teams is a task that no-one wants to perform, but not doing it can have catastrophic consequences. Portfolio management and alignment with marketing / sales has got to be the most important relationship within the IT Channel today.

Embedded IT have substantial best practice experience in the “art” of Portfolio Management for IT and Technology Suppliers. With the ability to take a complex group of technologies, and structure them in the best way consumable for your target market, Embedded can create a simple structure and process to manage changes in both technical and business level proposition marketing. Armed with this structure, we can create an “As Is” and “To Be” product roadmap, showing proposed changes to best align portfolio to your target marketing. Embedded will:

  • Perform an inventory of your current portfolio, and structure it to enable easy consumption
  • Identify state of readiness for each product within portfolio
  • Prioritise products within portfolio based on business agenda
  • Identify relevant gaps in portfolio to correctly address target market propositions
  • Create a headline roadmap of new products to be adopted, or existing products to be sunset, in line with business strategy

Deliverables for Portfolio Management can range from a simple audit / roadmap, to a more complex set of product and proposition literature to support focus portfolio items, dependent on requirements.

Management of technology vendors is a significant overhead for all IT and Telecoms service providers. Maintaining partner accreditations and levels, staying on top of the ever changing rules, understanding revenue and customer reference requirements etc. is a full time job for someone that does not naturally sit anywhere in a specific organisation. Vendor Management principles touch multiple teams within the organisation, and ownership can be a problem.

More importantly, losing your partner accreditation can hinder you from delivering services to your clients. Wrongly claiming your partner status can lead to serious consequences, at worst affecting brand value and status in the market, at best limiting your access to preferential pricing for the given technology.

Embedded Vendor Management is a service that manages your conformance to Vendor Partner programmes, maximising your relationship with a chosen Vendor. Providing regular reporting of compliance, alerting on changes in approach by the Vendor, and providing advice on how best to get the most from your partner programme, Embedded Vendor Management leverages expertise in Vendor Programmes to the benefit of the Service Provider. Embedded deliver tiered services that deliver monthly reporting on :

  • Partner level and conformance to requirements / risk of exposure
  • MDF performance and usage
  • Revenue achievement vs targets
  • Accreditation performance and plans
  • Sourcing / Procurement routes for a given technology, such as Distribution
  • Product and Service updates for a given Vendor, including notifications of changes in product collateral
  • Action plans and progress against plan

Improved visibility and control of partner levels will reduce the risk of non-compliance and ultimately lead to improved relationships with key technology vendors.

IT and Telecoms Sales is an art form in transition. Moving from traditional product reseller propositions to more complex cloud and service based, consulting led conversations needs strong and structured management. Refreshing the sales team, or retraining them to adopt a more complex approach, is a project that current business management struggle to achieve within the bounds of their day jobs. However achieving this transition can make or break the future of a business.

Performing this transition, whilst delivering to forecast and managing pipeline for the complex world of UK IT and Telecoms companies is difficult to achieve. Without an appropriately managed sales team, performance can be difficult to track, budgets can be difficult to hit and staff can become disorientated and demotivated. Sales is a department is a difficult thing to perfect.

Embedded IT provide sales management as a service, full or part time, either to support a change in business direction or priority, or to drive more success from existing staff. Our consultants act as the sales manager for a particular business, offering advice on a range of facets of a successful sales team, such as:
• Marketing integration and proposition development
• “Funnel” planning and resourcing
• Staff incentives and commission plans
• Ongoing pipeline / forecast management and activity reporting
• Recruitment / Retraining of sales teams to boost performance

Using specifically focussed sales management consultants with in excess of 25 years in the IT and Telecoms industry, Embedded can assess the current situation with a channel partner and recommend a specific action plan to increase sales or change direction. We can then execute this plan with a focus on specific business objectives such as pipeline development, revenue generation or overhead reduction.

As a technology vendor, gaining access to a volume of clients is one the key success factors to the launch of your particular product. With only a finite amount of internal sales resource, focussing these resources on your priority clients, and using the Channel to access broader sales opportunities can expedite the success of your product and drive substantial revenue growth.

Identifying the right channel partners however can be complex. With 6,000 potential UK IT and Telecoms Channel Partners, as well as a variety of Distribution partners, it can be time consuming and resource sapping to find that perfect partner who can successfully embrace and represent your product to its target market sectors. Understanding the proposition, not just to the end client, but also to the channel partner can be difficult to achieve and slow down your successful launch.

Embedded IT hold relationships with hundreds of UK channel partners, and all of the major Distribution partners, to help you understand the best way to engage the UK IT and Telecoms Channel. By investing time up front to understand your product and client proposition, we can help build an engagement strategy that identifies UK channel partners to work with and where appropriate effect introductions to expedite sales.

Embedded will:

  • Understand your products target end client and identify the most efficient route to that market through the UK IT and Telecoms Channel
  • Establish a prioritised list of channel routes to market, potentially including Distribution options, to drive new sales in the most efficient manner
  • Assist in developing proposition and sales collateral to support your product launch through channel partners
  • Comment on the optimum partner programme / compensation schemes to drive adoption through the channel
  • Provide ongoing support of channel engagement, including introductions to key partners where appropriate.

By working with Embedded, your channel engagement strategy will drive optimum engagement and shortcut the significant overhead of navigating the complexities of such a diverse and fragmented route to market for your product.

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South Hants IT Networking Events 

Embedded IT founded the South Hants IT Networking group in 2018 to bring together Vendor, Channel and Client IT professionals from Hampshire, Dorset and West Sussex regions, to discuss industry topics and build positive relationships. 

We meet every 2 months in Whiteley, Fareham and aim to get 30-40 attendees to each meeting. Total group membership is approximately 150 people (as of Dec 2019) across the region, and in between events there is a healthy amount of dialogue and discussion through an informal “Slack” group for paid members.

Meeting format is informal, with a topic of discussion for each session where guest speakers, or Embedded consultants, lead a debate around the use cases and considerations for a particular topic. Then we go to the pub where the real discussion happens.

Agenda for 2020 is as follows:

  • 30 January 2020 : IoT Security with Bob Vickers, Ordr
  • 19 March 2020 : 5G with Peter Curnow-Ford, Viatec
  • 21 May 2020 : Smart Cities and Digital Twins with Chris Cooper, KnowNow Information ltd
  • 9 July 2020 : Augmented Reality with Mark James, CTO Darabase
  • 17 September 2020 : "The UK IT Industry in Data points" with Phil Clark
  • 19 November 2020 : Roundtable with Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Caroline Dinenage

Subscription costs are £30 per member per annum, running from 1st January to 31st December. This is run as a “not for profit” forum, with any profits made being donated to local charities, to date we have raised:

  • May 2019 : £100 for Multiple Sclerosis 
  • Feb 2020 : £300 for Hampshire and IoW Air Ambulance
  • July 2020 : £1,000 for Macmillan 
  • Nov 2020 : £400 for Acts of Kindness, Fareham

If you would like more details, please get in touch with Phil Clark, chairperson, via email – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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