Ketchum, IDC team up to evaluate channel comms

CHICAGO: One year after Ketchum and International Data (IDC) teamed up to offer ChannelEdge, they are ready to unveil the next stage of that offering: the PACE Index.

CHICAGO: One year after Ketchum and International Data (IDC) teamed up to offer ChannelEdge, they are ready to unveil the next stage of that offering: the PACE Index.

ChannelEdge is designed to help tech companies develop strategies for working with channel and sales partners. The PACE Index (Partners and Alliances Communications Effectiveness) will attempt to make sense of how well those strategies work, and if they are helping companies reach their business goals. PACE will try to help companies focus on the effectiveness of channels such as events, newsletters, seminars, webinars, e-mail, and websites.

"This will do more than help companies evaluate their channel communications," said Paul Rand, director of Ketchum's global technology practice. "It will also give them a sense of what is going on in their industry, and what their peers and competitors are doing."

IDC is developing methodology and criteria to help companies measure the effectiveness of their communications with various partners and alliances. After the data is collected, Ketchum and IDC will work together to analyze the information and find ways to improve communications efforts.

Information is gathered via phone interviews with 40 or 50 of a company's top channel partners, and the results are presented with analysis and recommendations.

While IDC is developing benchmarks, those criteria will be fitted to each client's specific needs and channel communications efforts, said IDC group VP of global software partnering and alliances Stephen Graham.

IDC estimates that 50% of the $871 billion in global technology sales comes through channels other than companies' own sales teams, and that more than 59% of software sales in North America are influenced by third-party organizations.

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