In a World Full of Waldos, How Do You Stand Out?

Here’s how to stand out in the channel partner crowd—without wearing a candy-cane striped sweater.

SAP Guest Blogger

April 1, 2019

3 Min Read
In a World Full of Waldos, How Do You Stand Out?

I was recently at a birthday celebration for a friend who received a vintage Where’s Waldo? book as a gift. Remember Waldo? He had the round glasses well before Harry Potter made them famous, as well as the candy-cane striped sweater.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Where’s Waldo concept, you comb through insanely busy illustrations in search of a very thin fictional character named Waldo. When I looked at my friend’s birthday gift, I realized I couldn’t find Waldo, sadly, without my reading glasses.

Today, being a channel partner can be a bit like Waldo: It’s getting harder to see you. If you are not paying attention, you can easily blend in with everyone and everything else.

So how can you stand out in a crowd (without having to wear a candy-cane striped sweater)?

When I meet with channel partners, we often get into discussions about the best ways to increase their company’s visibility. Some partners ask because they are looking to improve their performance, redefine their products or enter a new market. Others are looking to spur their growth for an exit strategy that includes selling their company or merging with another.

While I’m no mergers and acquisitions expert, obviously, my years in the channel and my many conversations have given me some insight into what works and what doesn’t. The smart channel partners expand their offerings and develop a well-balanced customer mix–and are always ready to pivot when an opportunity presents itself.

Seth Collins, a mergers and acquisition expert at Martinwolf M&A Advisors, which focuses on mid-market IT VARs and software companies, suggests that companies consider how the buyer perceives them.

“In the channel, you always have to be re-inventing yourself,” Collins said.

That, by all accounts, is easier said than done. So, no matter if you are trying to improve the performance of your existing business, attract customers, enter a new market or even looking to cash-out with an exit strategy, what does it actually mean to re-invent your company?

Well, it means stepping back, being honest and understanding what makes your company relevant, and then keeping your company relevant as the market evolves.

Whether you are a product reseller, a SaaS provider or deliver professional services, there is an opportunity for you to make the necessary changes that will highlight the things that differentiates your business.

Some of the things that should be focal points are building value; setting your company apart by showing how you solve business challenges; and creating a solid company culture that attracts and maintains top talent, drawing in your customer base.

You can also build and license your own IP to tie into the specializations, solutions and products of your vendor.

Having a solid fiscal history, a healthy growth rate and a positive financial forecast are always ingredients for success. And, as in any business, the strongest success indicator is the customer experience. Offer your customers an exceptional experience paired with the right solutions that address their own business needs, and cloud-based services to showcase your significance in the channel.

Regardless of if you buy, sell or expand your position, channel partners need to build their value and sustain their relevance to truly stand out in a crowd. Don’t be a Waldo.

Want to learn more about partnering opportunities with SAP? Visit for more information on the SAP PartnerEdge program.

Ira Simon (follow me on Twitter – @IraASimon) is global vice president, Partner & SME Marketing at SAP. Learn more about partnership opportunities at:





This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

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