Who should support customers in a resale/channel model? Should it be the reseller? Or the vendor/tech provider? In this post I compare Amazon, GoDaddy, Google, and Salesforce for answers.
It looks like GoDaddy gives resellers the option of providing direct support but also offers to provide first level support as well as cross-sell/up-sell services. They have a moderately complex product, but their support processes must be really buttoned up and solid in order to offer this type of capability.
Salesforce (2019 program) shown below, they put the onus on the Reseller to provide Tier and Tier 2 support and also require partners to get their agents certified to provide support:
Amazon Web Services
AWS has a very rich partner program comprised of consulting partner programs and tech partner programs.
The one that seems most relevant is the Marketplace program, but I can’t find too much detail about what level of support Amazon provides to end customers. I get the sense it is none and they provide primarily billing/ordering/marketing. I get the sense that a large part of the program is intended to drive AWS use and extend their capabilities, rather than to actually be a channel, which makes sense given Amazon’s focus on products rather than services. It also seems like they probably don’t have a mature enough support capability to provide a Tier1/Tier2 offering to their partners, and also their mission isn’t to achieve scale through partners, it’s to build new products.
Google Cloud Platform
I get the same feel from Google that I do from AWS. Their partnership program is all about them driving more GCP sales and volume rather than about enabling partners to scale via marketing, support, and sales. I can’t find any support information on their website
Akamai Net Alliance
Akamai’s partner program does offer a little more detail about co-selling and co-marketing than AWS or GCP, it does focus on bundling of Akamai with other services. They have a deal registration page, and a partner portal which can cover all of that. Most of their partners are Telcos. What is unclear is how the support model works, but based on my experience the telcos are probably taking first line support since they’re bundling with Networking and other IT services, and have limited abilities to support a CDN. I suspect they’re getting some basic training from Akamai on how to triage calls, reset passwords, which is what we did at Edgecast.