Websites are an excellent platform to engage with channel & alliance partners and resellers. Most channel zones (partner, reseller, alliances) must do triple duty by (1) allowing visitors to find a partner or reseller; (2) marketing the company’s channel programs to potential partners; and (3) providing access to partner extranets/entitled partner portals. Best-in-class partner zones are notable for clear and concise program information; short click streams; and multiple ways to engage with company contacts.
To assess how effectively a Website presents and markets channel, partner and alliance programs, the siteIQ evaluation team identifies and measures 34 types of content, features & capabilities.
Usability reviews focus on how well the company presents various channel, partner and alliance programs, content quality & clarity; how easy it is to find the channel marketing zone; and how effectively the site encourages potential partners to take next steps. This case study announces 2015’s leaders, laggers — and fast movers in the Channel/Partner Marketing category.
Channel Marketing | Drum Roll Please!
2015 proved to be an unusually active year in the Channel Marketing category – and not in a good way for most sites. Ten out of the 23 sites reviewed slipped down the rankings while only six made positive strides. And what about the other seven? Those sites either stood still or were new entrants to the Index.
Oracle.com skyrocketed from fourth place to take first — but IBM turns out to be the real winner in this battle. IBM.com held onto second place while waiting for IBM Software to hop up from fifth place to third. That gives IBM two places in the Top 3 compared to Oracle.com’s one.
So, who does the siteIQ team predict will take the top spot in 2016? Considering that Oracle.com and IBM (dotcom and Software) are the only sites that garnered Good and Best Practice rankings, there is a strong chance they will remain in the Top 5. But when it comes to rankings and rosters what goes down must come up (eventually), which means a lot of sites will vying for positions higher up the list in the coming year.
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About the siteIQ eBusiness Index
siteIQ evaluated the twenty-three Websites listed on the 2015 siteIQ eBusiness Index. These Websites are categorized into six industry-specific segments including:
- Business Software (Adobe.com, Microsoft.com, Symantec.com, Citrix.com)
- Cloud (Salesforce.com, Netsuite.com, Netapp.com)
- Enterprise Software (CA.com, IBM Software, Oracle.com, SAP.com)
- Enterprise Systems (Dell.com, HP.com, IBM.com, Apple.com)
- Network Systems (Brocade.com, Cisco.com, Juniper.net)
- Professional Services (Accenture.com, Cognizant.com, IBM Global Services)
These in-depth evaluations were conducted using the 2015 edition of the siteIQ eBusiness Index Best Practices Benchmark.
This benchmark identifies and tracks over 1,500 types of content, features, capabilities, navigation, and design elements that represent current requirements for typical IT industry Websites. These requirements are organized into 18 categories that correspond to different areas of a Website and site-wide utilities.
During these evaluations, siteIQ analysts also score each site based on 140 metrics that measure usability & effectiveness from the visitor’s point of view. These metrics align to the 18 categories mentioned above.
The 2015 evaluations were performed during the fourth quarter of 2015 and released in 2016
Category: Index Rankings
Class: Website Reviews and Rankings
Websites Profiled: siteIQ eBusiness Index Websites
Index by Category:
- Navigation & Architecture | IBM, Cisco, and Oracle rule the navigation roost
- Search | Cisco hits the trifecta while Dell and IBM search for footing
- Product Marketing | IBM makes a clean sweep while HP and Oracle follow behind
- Services Marketing | HP.com hits the ranking trifecta while IBM and Cisco trail behind
- Channel Marketing | IBM and Oracle duke it out for first place with surprising results
- eCommerce | Dell hangs onto 1st, while Apple and Oracle steal 2nd and 3rd
- Call To Action | Dell leaps up to first, Symantec slips down to second, and Cisco slides into third
- Support | Dell, IBM, and HP play king of the hill
- Training | IBM is king of content but EMC is queen of usability
- Channel/Partner Marketing Rankings | Oracle.com’s investment pays off, IBM.com shares the wealth, and CA.com gets the gold
- Website Launch: Oracle.com’s “lean forward” playbook emerges
- Competitive Profile | Oracle.com | SAP.com derails Oracle.com’s dreams of a first place clean sweep
- FieldNote: IBM PartnerWorld’s mega menu is more than links – it’s marketing
- FieldNote & Video: IBM.com joins Oracle.com on the “lean forward” bandwagon
3. IBM Software
- Competitive Profile | IBM Software Group | Up, down and all over the place
- Game Changer: IBM Software Group, LinkedIn – and the beauty of tribes
- Social Media Moment of Brilliance | IBM Software Group uses LinkedIn to harness the Power of Tribes