'7 Minutes' with SourceDay SVP Alliances and Channel Emeka Obianwu

Forty percent of SourceDay's new business is generated by partners.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

May 29, 2019

6 Min Read

SourceDay, a supply chain automation SaaS solution, has grown its annual recurring revenue more than 125% over the prior year and maintains a customer renewal rate of more than 95%. That’s according to the company’s first-quarter numbers.

This establishes SourceDay as a “leading technology partner” to the $8 trillion U.S. manufacturing and distribution industry, the company said.

SourceDay recently has added two executives to its leadership team — Emeka Obianwu, formerly with NSS Labs and Ping Identity, as senior vice president of alliances and channel; and Sarah Moore, formerly with Spredfast, as chief marketing officer.

“Attracting seasoned leaders like Sarah and Emeka is an important milestone for us as we prepare for next-level growth,” said Tom Kieley, SourceDay’s CEO. “Sarah’s unique experience driving high-growth companies will be instrumental as we extend the reach of SourceDay’s brand, and Emeka’s proven track record developing alliance relationships will help us build a world-class partner program.”


SourceDay’s Emeka Obianwu

Obianwu will be responsible for the strategy and management of SourceDay’s technology and consulting partner ecosystem.

SourceDay secured $6.5 million in Series A funding late last year to continue growing its customer base and to bring new products to market.

7 Minutesis a feature where we ask channel executives from startups – or companies that may be new to the Channel Partners audience – a series of quick questions about their businesses and channel programs.**

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Obianwu talks about how his company works with partners and the advantages it has over its competitors.

Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about your product or service. What’s the secret selling sauce?

Emeka Obianwu: Time to value is the ultimate strategic pillar of the SourceDay platform. Unfortunately, manufacturers and distributors have historically seen technology-enabled transformation come with a very significant time-to-value tax. The problem has been further compounded by the lack of any solution provider with a singular focus on how technology should drive the adoption of supply chain collaboration.

SourceDay is breaking this cycle with a unique combination of cloud-delivered software, productized integrations with ERP systems, and software designed with a maniacal focus on the value and usability that must be built in to successfully drive adoption across manufacturers, distributors and their suppliers. We literally have customers getting on stage with us at customer events to describe how their SourceDay projects have resulted in savings and paybacks after just three months.

CP: Describe your channel program — metal levels, heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features?

EO: I am blessed to have joined a company that already had a culture of partnering. I’m not spending any of my time convincing my colleagues and board of directors on the merits of embracing the channel. Instead our team is spending time building out a formal partner program that will make it easier for partners to engage and self enable when possible. We have compelling margin compensation for referral and reseller partners, and will remain committed to ensuring our partners share in the opportunity to redefine supply chain collaboration.

CP: Quick-hit answers: Percentage of sales through the channel, number of partners, average margin. Go.

EO: We’re currently running at 40% of net-new business impacted by channel partners. The trend line indicates this will be even higher when 2019 is all said and done. We have formal relationships with about 30 partners, but there’s an 80/20 rule that applies to which partners are impacting the SourceDay channel book of business.

CP: Do you work with any master agents or distributors now? Is so, which ones, and if not, do you expect to establish these relationships?

EO: No, we do not work with any entities defined as such. But as we start to look at …

… the smart way to address demand from manufacturers and distributors in European and Asia-Pacific markets, I expect regional and country-based IT channel distributors will become more front and center for SourceDay.

CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better?

EO: It’s amazing how many prospects we cross paths with that are still using spreadsheets, email and phone calls to facilitate acknowledgement, exception handling and collaboration with their suppliers. So our No. 1 competitor without a doubt is spreadsheets, email and phone calls that are inherently slow and error-prone. It’s a direct result of supplier collaboration being underserved. Early on in SourceDay’s history, ERP systems like SAP, and related tools like SAP Ariba, were also mistakenly identified as sources of competition by our customers and prospects. But we’re past that phase as the market has become better educated. ERP systems have proven effective at business integration across internal systems and serving as a general ledger, but they were not designed for facilitating collaboration beyond the enterprise. Our platform integrates bidirectionally with ERP systems to deliver collaboration beyond the enterprise and through the supply chain. SourceDay also updates the ERP system to ensure accuracy of the data that is driving financial and operational planning.

CP: How do you think your technology portfolio will change in the next three years?

EO: Our customers are hungry for SourceDay to roll out more modules and features to impact more use cases that take advantage of a platform that endears itself to collaboration. We recently rolled out additional products to address some of the pain points manufacturers and distributors have when it comes to supplier accounts payable, invoice matching, request-for-quote communications, tracking, compliance and awards. In addition to these capabilities, we are also looking at microservices that will enable our system-integrator and technology partners to extend and integrate SourceDay products and services in a standard way that does not result in added complexity or come at the expense of time to value. This area of platform innovation is especially exciting to me given my role.

CP: How do you expect your channel strategy to evolve over that time frame?

EO: I don’t see any major changes in the short term. As previously mentioned, we do foresee the DNA of our partner ecosystem evolving over the next three to five years as a result of our entry into new geographies, verticals and enterprise segments. Bigger picture, I’m an advocate of having a channel strategy be a direct reflection of customer trends and market forces. So we will adapt as we see indicators from our customers on new ways they want to consume the platform or integrate with other solution ecosystems.

CP: What didn’t we ask that partners should know?

EO: Supplier adoption of the platform is another big differentiator for us. SourceDay has already made the investment in the people, processes and technology to ensure suppliers adopt the platform. We continue to achieve very high levels of supplier adoption, which is critical to both alleviating manufacturer concerns and achieving quick time to value for our channel partners and their customers. This investment is a big part of what makes partnering with SourceDay compelling because a SourceDay deployment is wired for success.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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