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Channel Matters Blog > March 2011
by Chris Marshall
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There is much Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt in the channel that Cloud services will kill their business. Recent research shows it won't if they are able to properly charge for consultancy services previously given away.

 

by William Vanderbilt
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As signs of an economic recovery start to emerge in the U.S, some companies are beginning to make careful investments in high priority areas of business.  In hopes that they can get a head start on the competition they are investing in their people. And why not? In many organizations, people are the most valuable asset; their collective knowledge, experience, skills and behaviors are often what sets the best companies ahead of the rest.  So what can you do to get the greatest return on your (workforce) asset (ROA) or your investment (ROI)?

by Chris Marshall
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The advent of the cloud means we still have to cross Geoffrey Moore's chasm. So does that mean that what Geoffrey said about the importance of the channel in helping us do so, still holds or can we disintermediate and go direct?

by Philip Moon
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In June 2010 Braham Shnider was interviewed by Dave Stein from ES Research about Channel Management - and how this can be harder than direct selling . Click through to Dave Steins Blog to see what they had to say.

http://davesteinsblog.esresearch.com/2010/06/07/channel-management-harder-than-direct-selling/

 

by Global Administrator
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Below are step by instructions for creating a new basic text article on the Channel Enablers Partner Manager Resource Centre.

When writing an article for the blog, there are the basic steps you should follow.

  • Pre-write and proof your article in a local editor before you login to the system. Your article should begin with a vignette / introduction that will be used on article listing pages and should be 1 to 2 paragraphs long at the most. ( See the section on pasting your content. It is important to do this correctly. )
  • Pre select and image to use for your article before you begin. All articles must have at least one image for article listing pages, that will be displayed with the vignette.. ( See the section on image copyright )
  • Login to the PMRC and go to the blog page.
  • Click the Add Article link in your Author menu
  • Insert you content and image
  • Add Metadata
  • Save your article (unpublished) ready for approval. Managers will be automatically notified when a new article is awaiting approval.

 

In the coming weeks, more in depth instructions will be create for creating and posting video and audio blogs should you wish to do so.

If you have any questions or comments regarding these instructions, or any issue with the process, please contact Michael Tull on email at michael.tull@channelenablers.com

Partner Manager Resource Centre - Blog Instructions

Go to the Channel Enablers Partner Manager Resource Centre - http://www.channelenablers.net

 


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Login

In the top right corner, enter your username and password, and click the login button.
If you have lost your username or password at any time, you can use the “Forgot Login” link to retrieve your details.


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Update your details


Once you have logged in, if you have not already done so, please use the “Edit Profile” link to update your details. 


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Update your details

Enter, or correct any details on this page. These are not the details that will be displayed to end users in your author profile etc. These are the details that are stored against your name in our CRM.

In particular, please update your password from the default that you were originally sent, and update this password regularly.

If you ever get a Trojan or virus on the machine you edit the Blog with, please inform me immediately, and we will change it at this end to try and ensure a hacker does not get into the site.


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Go to the Blog page

Next, click on the “Channel Matters Blog” link on the top menu bar.

This will load the Blog page showing you the latest published blog articles..



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The Blog Author Menu

Because you are now logged in, you will see your Image/Avatar if one has been loaded for you in the right hand column, along with a number of menu links under the Blog Author Menu.

  • Add new item:  This will load a popup window which will allow you to add a new blog item.
  • My page:  This takes you to a page which displays all articles published under your name.
  • My account:  This takes you to a page where you can update your  - Author Profile, which is automatically shown at the bottom of each blog article.
  • Moderate comments to my published items:   Ignore this link for the moment.  We are currently not using this feature.  We will look at how to moderate and respond to comments in the future.


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Adding a Blog Article

To add a new blog article, click the Add new item link.

Because of secondary security setup, the system will now ask you for another password (See image 1 to the right). Enter the username and password that you were sent labeled Admin Area Password and click Log In. If your browser gives you the option, save this password. It will remove this step from the process the next time you return unless you clear your browser history. This password will however change regularly.

 

Once you are authorized for the admin area the Add Item popup screen will load.
Note:  Loading this window can be a little slow.  Please be patient.

Begin by completing the top section of the Blog Article Submission form. ( Highlighted in Green ). Below are description of what each field is for.

  • Title: This is the title of the article.  Please try and keep it as concise and ‘punchy’ as possible.  If possible, also use words that also appear in the article itself.  Having ‘key words’ in both the title and the article will assist with the articles rankings on Google.

  • Title Alias: This is used to form the URL that your article will be available on.  It should contain only alpha numeric characters, and the hyphen ‘-‘.   For example, your article was entitled “10 Ways to improve your Channel sales”, you could enter  “ways-to-improve-channel-sales”.  You can also leave this section blank, and the system will automatically use your Title to create the Title alias.

  • Published:  Important - This is set to ‘Yes’ automatically (and I cannot change it.)  Generally, all blog authors do not have rights to publish articles automatically.  We have implemented a number of checks (Proofing, Keywords etc.) that must occur before the article is actually published to the site so you MUST set this to ‘No’ before you attempt to save the article.  Of you do not, you will get a permissions error.

  • Is it featured?: Please leave this field blank for now.  We will start using this feature in the future, but for now please leave this checkbox blank.

  • Category:  This is where you can select a Category for your article.  Currently there are only 3 categories.

    • Channel Sales: The Channel Sales blog explores the skills and behaviors of the best channel sales people and the best channel-centric vendors. What’s happening in channel sales? What are the latest trends and best practices?
    • Channel Strategy: The Channel Strategy blog looks at how vendors are going to market. What combination of routes, programs and partners are being used? What do channel executives focus on to grow channel revenue and market share?
    • Channel Enablers: The Channel Enablers blog includes news and announcements about Channel Enablers and our global consulting and training team.

      If (when) new categories are needed, there are a number of steps required, so please let me know and I will create them.  You can go ahead and create your article under another Category, and when you give me the new Category you need, I can move the article from the backbend before it is published.

 


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Adding a Blog Article - What's in the Add Article Window

Next you will want to enter your actual article content. You add this in the next area of the popup (Highlighted in green again ),

You will see a number of tabs across the top of this section.

  • Content: This is where you will add the text and images (except for the main image) of you article.
  • Image: This is where you MUST upload or select a primary image for you article.
  • Image Gallery: Currently not used.
  • Video: Currently not used ( Videos are added in a different ways for better control.
  • Extra Fields: Currently not used for this blog section.
  • Attachments: This is where you can attach a PDF ( or other ) document that users can download.

We will look at these important tabs in more detail below.

 


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Adding a Blog Article - Adding the actual content

Content: 

The editor is similar to MS Word/Word Pad and other editors, however is more restricted. The best way to see what you can or can't do, is to have a go. You will quickly get the idea.

You can hover over the editor buttons to see what they do, and they are generally self-explanatory, however I will cover some important ones below as we go through how to enter your content.

To begin, enter the introduction of your article ( a vignette).  This introduction will be shown on the blog front page, on the category pages, AND at the top of your article.  Try to keep it brief ( a paragraph or two ). Try and make it interesting but don’t give all the details here as it this is what a reader will see first on any of the category/listing pages.  You want to get them to click the “More” button on your entire article.

Using Fonts: In order to keep a consistent look across the entire site, the font styles have been set in the template. The vignette and the main text are automatically displayed in different fonts and you should not need to change the 'font' using the editor within the article. You do not need to adjust the font, the font size, color etc. as they are controlled by the template.

If you wish to use headers (H1. H2, H3 etc ) to define sections of your article. Please DO NOT use anything higher than h3 for headers within the article body, and always format your article from within the editor. Do not just cut and paste in your text from MS word etc with these headings attached. The H1 and H2 tags are reserved for page and article headers that are automatically generated by the system and using these in the content you enter can adversely effect search engine rankings.

Once you have the vignette completed, click one of the two “More” (or ‘article.readmore’) buttons. -   This will add the break point between your introduction/vignette and the main text of your blog article. (These buttons are shown highlighted in green, and have a mouse cursor in the image to the right )

Once you have your vignette and "More" break, you can enter the rest of your article content below.

 

Note:  Obviously if you want to enter your whole article, and then choose where the read more break should be placed later you can.

 

Important: If you wish to cut and paste from an email, or a word document, you MUST use the “Paste from Word” icon, or if you are using another editor (Open Office, Mac etc ) or have a document with lots of links etc, please use the “Paste as plain text” icon.  Because of the differences between a normal document and a HTML page, it is necessary to reformat and re link anything that you cut and paste.  Using these icons will give you a clean document to start from. If you where to simply paste the text directly from another editor, it would add extra code that would mess up the formatting of the final page. These buttons are highlighted in red in the image to the right.


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Adding a Blog Article - Adding links

Adding Links: To add a link to another page on the PMRC, or to an external website, highlight the text or image you wish to act as the link, and select the “Insert/Edit Link” icon. 

You can simply enter the URL into the URL bar at the top of the resulting popup, or use the Browse feature below to navigate to the particular article or page you want to link to.

NOTE:  This browse feature is complicated.  There are a number of section you CAN NOT use, and other areas which might be confusing.  If you do not know how to use this feature ( most people at this stage ) I would suggest simply adding your links manually by cutting and pasting the link you want to add. I will update this section with more detail later.

Next there are a number of sections where you can enter data.

Link to an Anchor: An internal link on the page itself.

Add a Title to the link: This helps with Search Engines crawling the page and is displayed when you mouse over the link

Select a Target:  The Target is important.  Generally, if you are linking to a page within the PRMC, leave this as default or choose “Open in this window/frame”.  If you are linking to a page on another website, I would suggest using “Open in a new window”.  This will open the linked page in a new tab (or window depending on their own setup) in the users browser, and will therefore leave your article.

Once you have completed this section, click “Insert”  and your link will be entered into the page.


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Adding a Blog Article - Adding Images

Adding Images: There are two different areas / ways that you can add images.

Firstly, and most importantly, you MUST use the Image Tab to choose or upload an image that will be used as the main image for the article. This will be automatically used for the Blog front page, and various category pages throughout the site. Every article must have this image attached.

To add a primary image to your article, click on the "Image" tab.

  • Click the - Item Image - "Browse" button. This will open a file browser on your local computer.

  • Browse to where the images is located on your own computer, select it, and click "Open" .. This will show the directory link to your local file. ( Note: The file will be uploaded when you save the overall article )

  • Now enter the Item Image Caption ( This will be shown below the image ) , and the Item Image credits ( This is if you need to attribute ownership or credit to someone for the image ). Generally, neither of these are used at present for a general blog article unless absolutely necessary.

Image Copyright:. Please ensure that you have the correct rights and permissions to use the image you choose to upload. Remember that you are responsible for this, as all activities are logged and any questions regarding copyright will be directed to you. We will soon make a large directory of images available to you on the website that Channel Enablers has permission to use, and there are many free image website's available with a simple google search, however ALWAYS check the copyright information for any specific image you use from one of these sites, as often you need to give owner attribution etc. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, please contact me. DO NOT JUST USE GOOGLE IMAGES. Almost all of these images that are returned in a search are copyrighted ( but it is a good place to start looking for ideas at least. )




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Adding a Blog Article - The other tabs

The Next 4 Tabs: Image Gallery, Video, and Extra Fields are not to be used at this stage for the basic blog. They will be used in other sections, but again, this will be covered later.


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Adding a Blog Article - Adding Attachments

The final tab - Attachments - is used if you wish to add one or more attachments such as a PDF files, word templates or other documents to your blog post for readers to download. These links will be displayed at the bottom of the article, just below the social sharing links.

First, select the Attachments tab.

Next click the 'Add attachment field' button. This will add the fields to allow you to upload, and link your attachment. You can click this button multiple times to add multiple attachments.

Next browse to the file on your local computer that you wish to attach to your blog article.

Once selected you can add a Link Title - The name of the link displayed, and a Link title attribute - What will be displayed when someone mouse's over the link ( this is also useful and important for search engine results. )


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Adding a Blog Article - Article details & MetaData

The final part of entering the your article, is to check and update the article Details and enter the MetaData for the article.

To access these details, click the Toggle Sidebar button. This will open a panel to the right of the Add item popup window.

Here you can adjust the following information.

Author Alias: For general blog articles, do not change this setting. It is used for other items such as Vendor Perspective articles.

Access Level: Here you can choose Public, Registered, and Special. Public is the default option. Please leave it as this unless you have a specific reason to change it. Registered will hide the article completely unless the user is logged in, and Special will make the article available only to other Channel Enablers blog authors.

Creation Date, Start Publishing and End Publishing: These are self explanatory. Again you would generally not change these unless you have a specific requirement.

 

MetaData

MetaData is information that is used by search engines to understand your what your page is about and to help them index and rank the page. It is important that you enter this information for any article you create otherwise your article will not display or rank on search engines correctly.

Description: Enter a short description of your article. This is what will be displayed on a search engine just under the link when you search.

Keywords: Keywords are a set of 'key words' included in your article, and that might relate to the site in general. Search engines use these to help determine the relevance of your page against entered search terms. Do not repeat words, use more that 15 individual words, or use words that are unrelated to your page, or the site in general or the search engine will penalize that ranking of the page. Please separate keywords with a comma.

Robots: Please enter "index follow" into this box as a default.

To explain, this is used to tell a search engine to either follow the links in your article (enter "follow" or to not follow them - enter "nofollow". You can also tell the search engine to index the page enter "index" or not to index the page - enter "noindex" to understand more of this, see http://www.seoconsultants.com/meta-tags/robots/

Author: Here you can enter who you want the search engines to see as the author of the page. For general pages on the website, we enter Channel Enablers, however you can enter your own name here.

 


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Adding a Blog Article - Save your article

At this point, I would suggest reviewing your title, article content and image, and once you are happy, Click the Save button in the top right corner of the popup window.

Once your item is saved, you will see a blue box say that as shown in the image on the right.

VERY IMPORTANT - Saving your article DOES NOT close the Add Article popup box.

You will need to use the two successive Close icons( Highlighted in red on the image) to close these window. DO NOT CLICK SAVE AGAIN! It will save two versions of the article to the database.

Also, note that you CAN NOT edit your article, and save over the top at this stage. What you have submitted has been written to the database and only administrators of the site have access to that article for the moment. If you wish to edit the article before it is published, please contact Philip Moon or Michael Tull what at this stage can make those changes during the proofing stage of the process before it is published to the live site.

 


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Adding a Blog Article - The review process

Once you article has been saved, the site administrator and site publisher will be notified that there is a new article awaiting approval. The article will be proof read, and any necessary changes will be made. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact either Philip Moon, or Michael Tull.

 

by Global Administrator
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The Channel Sales Financials blended-learning series consists of two self-paced e-learning modules and one two-day instructor led workshop. It equips vendor channel sales people to speak the ‘financial language’ of partner CEOs.

This TTT presentation provides and overview of the program, some information to help you sell it and price it, and a detailed run through of CSF Part 3 – the two day workshop.

You should also complete the part one and two e-learning on the Channel Enablers demonstration LMS at https://demo.firmwater.com/cedemo - All Channel Enablers agents have a username and password to the LMS – if you have lost yours please contact Caroline or Philip

 

Click to launch: Channel Sales Financials Train The Trainer E-Learning module.

Note: Presentations will open in a new pop-up window.

by Global Administrator
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Channel Success Essentials is a foundation program workshop for an organization’s management and extended partnering team.
  • Those new to channels and alliances will acquire: (i) an overall understanding of how and why partnering fits into a broader corporate strategy, and (ii) a common base of language required to work productively as part of an extended partnering team.
  • Experienced channel and alliance marketing and sales executives benefit from a step-by-step strategic approach to partnering success that removes guesswork and enhances productivity and repeatability.
  • Key stakeholders from all other parts of the organization, such as Customer Support, Marketing, Finance and Administration, Human Resources and Education, gain: (i) a better understanding of the keys to Channel and Alliance success, and (ii) a knowledge of how to align their functional areas with Partner Program objectives.

CSE is often conducted as either: (i) an executive workshop in which executive stakeholders from multiple departments work together to develop common channel strategies, or (ii) as a large group workshop to increase interdepartmental channel alignment and understanding.

Click to launch: Channel Success Essentials" Train The Trainer E-Learning module.


Note: Presentations will open in a new pop-up window.

by Global Administrator
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Channel Enablers Influencing Partnership Outcomes program introduces the Partnering Influence Process to recruit new partners and motivate existing partners to make necessary changes and investments. Topics include:

  • establishing credibility and creating interest with new or prospective partners
  • questioning skills to uncover partner priorities and reasons for investment
  • the communication skills essential to building trusted business relationships
  • developing imperatives for partnership growth
  • gaining commitments and dealing with partner concerns

 

Click to launch: Influencing Partnership Outcomes Train The Trainer E-Learning module.

Note: Presentations will open in a new pop-up window.

by Global Administrator
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Effective Partner Planning guides the creation of partnership plans to focus limited resources on areas of highest business return to both parties. More than a training course, Effective Partner Planning includes a set of tools and repeatable processes for lasting use in the field.

It has been said “if you plan to do everything – nothing gets done.” Effective Partner Planning workshop is specifically designed for high tech channel and alliance professionals interested in focusing their limited resources on initiatives with the best return on investment.

Effective Partner Planning is a step-by-step approach to productive partner plans. By understanding a partner’s key growth strategies and linking these to your strengths, programs and goals, participant teams create joint revenue growth objectives built on mutual market opportunities and the partnerships combined value proposition.

Click to launch: Effective Partner Planning Train The Trainer E-Learning module.

Note: Presentations will open in a new pop-up window.

by William Vanderbilt
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As a channel manager, I understand the value of having a solid relationship with my partners.  When built on a strong relationship, partnerships can produce positive results for both parties because each party will share information, express concerns and collaborate on important matters.  But I have come to appreciate that not all relationships are created equal!

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