You’ve been accepted into Partner Academy

By Robert Lyons
Partner Academy illustration with hand-in-hand representation of partnership.

Congratulations, and welcome to Siemens Partner Academy! You are now part of a world-class program that provides limitless opportunities for professional business growth.

Built on the foundation laid by the previous Partner Development Program, Partner Academy is the next evolution of the enablement and development area within Siemens DISW’s global partner ecosystem. Partner Academy is driven to ensure you have the tools, skills and resources available at your fingertips to successfully sell, service and build on Siemens Xcelerator solutions and services.

This is more than just a name change. It’s a new identity, reflecting our growth as an organization – growth that you have been instrumental in. It also represents our acknowledgment of the challenges ahead and our commitment to enabling our partner ecosystem to thrive in the SaaS selling environment.

Partner Academy focuses on continuous improvement to prepare you with the resources and knowledge required to evolve with your customers’ needs and buying behaviors now and in the future. McKinsey reports that 97 percent of B2B organizations rank reskilling as a top priority, and less than half are confident in their current staff’s ability to succeed in this transition period. That’s where Partner Academy can help.

Our goal is to help our partners develop top-notch leaders and reps who can deliver in these uncertain times. Partner Academy provides a cohesive, holistic enablement experience designed for SaaS success. Our strategy is laser-focused on providing the skills your teams need to execute the LAER business model and generate vital annual recurring revenue.

Partner Academy’s launch is parallel – and in some cases related – to several other exciting developments in the partner ecosystem. These changes are all designed to strengthen you and continue down a path of success.

Expert Partner

Expert Partner status assures customers that their partner has the knowledge and skills to deliver expected business outcomes.
Expert Partner status assures customers that their partner has the knowledge and skills to deliver expected business outcomes.

Expert Partner is a cornerstone of Siemens’ global partner program. This earned recognition is the equivalent of an elite status within the partner ecosystem. It symbolizes to Siemens, customers and your competitors that your organization is among the best of the best.

The Expert Partner initiative, launched in October, aligns with today’s software buying environment, where customers care more about business outcomes than the technology or products used to get there. Partner organizations can earn Expert status in several competency areas within design, manufacturing, simulation, IoT and low-code.

Beyond the distinction gained from your Expert Partner emblem, Expert Partner status carries many other benefits, including additional product discounts, preferred access to Siemens-qualified opportunities, a named portfolio development manager and exclusive advocacy and visibility on the web. It also puts you at the front of the queue for lead routing and, in the future, for technical support.

Attaining Expert Partner status is a true differentiator in the marketplace, and Partner Academy’s learning resources and certification program are essential to earning this designation.

PowerPaths and Certification

Partner employees begin this journey from Day 1, embarking on their PowerPaths journey, a 90-day prescriptive learning program to onboard employees to Siemens’ partner ecosystem. It is tailored to each functional role within your organization and helps jumpstart new employees’ careers.

Once employees are acclimated to your organization and Siemens, it’s time to pursue certificates and earn digital badges. Individual certifications pave the way to earning Expert Partner status for your organization. Displaying these badges proves that your team has the skills to solve your customers’ problems better than the competition.

Earn Digital Badges by completing prescribed learning tracks in sales, marketing, presales, customer success, professional services and technical support.

Covering each vital role within a successful partner organization, the curriculum is updated annually and curated to help generate success in sales, presales, marketing, customer success, professional services and, new for FY23, technical support.

The technical support certification track helps your organization expedite adoption and optimize value for customers, largely through training. Ensuring customers are adequately trained, you can drastically reduce the number of support inquiries related to how-to, installation and configuration questions. Customers that feel empowered and supported are much more likely to use the software and renew their subscription.

The certification training courses reinforce best practices while driving behaviors that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary. Like the Expert Partner emblem, these badges signify that you understand how to apply Siemens’ solutions to real-world problems.

Customer Success

By now, you should be very familiar with the Land, Adopt, Expand and Renew (LAER) sales motions. The SaaS business model, because of the low barrier of entry, makes the Land portion of LAER more attainable. However, Renew is the No. 1 key to success in a SaaS environment.

The marketing, sales and presales motions that have produced wins in the former perpetual-based selling no longer cut it when it comes to being effective with SaaS. To secure a renewal, Adopt is a vital component. Customers who don’t use their solutions will not pay to keep them.

The Customer Success learning track within Partner Academy provides the strategy to reposition from perpetual to SaaS selling. The learning materials show you how to create buy-in from the customer user base and get one step closer to the renewal.

Customers are no longer locked into a long-term relationships with their vendors. Customers can leave a SaaS deal just quickly as they enter it if the solution does not produce the expected outcome. Partner Academy’s Customer Success resources and enablement tracks provide the tools to be proactive with customer engagement and ensure your customers get the results they expect from your solutions.

Professional Services

Working hand-in-hand with Customer Success should be your Professional Services offerings, putting your customers on the shortest time-to-value path. Providing services is a win-win – the customer gets expert guidance and the outcomes they expected while you open up a new world of opportunities. The fact is, customers are budgeting for services, so if you’re not the one providing them, you’re missing out on opportunities.

With a regular cadence between customers and the Customer Success arm of your organization, you will be in a prime position to keep customers happy and productive with their Siemens software. Partner Academy connects your Professional Services managers to best-in-class training, tools and Siemens resources, as well as enablement for specific solutions such as Mendix, Mindsphere and Teamcenter X.  By leveraging Partner Academy, you will be well on your way to identifying customer problems and prescribing solutions. 

Professional Services and Customer Success are crucial to building long-lasting customer relationships. In the SaaS world, these two facets of partner organizations have quickly become equally important as the traditional marketing, sales and presales functions. And Partner Academy has the resources to build and sustain these functions in your organization.

It’s more than a name – it’s our philosophy

We chose the name Partner Academy because “academy” aligns with our ongoing dedication to personal and professional growth. Learning and development are not one-and-done processes. The information and enablement evolve with shifts in Siemens’ offerings, societal trends and buying behaviors. By remaining “enrolled” in Partner Academy, you will always have the finest, most up-to-date knowledge and skillsets to take on tomorrow’s challenges today. 

Visit Partner Academy and start elevating your learning journey today.


2 thoughts about “You’ve been accepted into Partner Academy
  • The evolution to Partner Academy is a very savvy adaptation to market forces. The enterprise software customer has shifted what they buy and how they buy … but the most important change is “why” they buy. Once and for all, they will not buy because the software is better than it used to be, but because the tools give them the ability to accomplish a meaningful business outcome they otherwise could not. This shift seems straightforward, but it has a ripple effect on the business of software vendors and channel partners that will eventually disrupt every functional element of our businesses: it changes our financial / cash flow model; it changes our sales function and tactics; it changes our sources of revenue; and it creates an entirely new responsibility to lead the post-sales processes of adoption, support, and customer success.

    Given these changes in the market and the impact on partner business models, it’s vital that vendor training and education programs also evolve. In the past, training programs focused on 3 basic elements: how to be in the program … how to sell the software … and how to provide support for the software. If you notice, all 3 of those topics were focused on the vendor. In short: the training that vendors provide to channel partners was focused on how the partner could learn more about the vendor. At the heart of the change in the customer market is a fundamental shift in the focus of skills towards the customer. In other words: you could be the most highly trained and capable partner in terms of the vendor products & programs and still not be able to sell a single thing unless you are equally expert in the world of the customer.

    The new resources in Partner Academy align with this fundamental shift. No longer is the focus on training / certification in “how to work with Siemens & its products” … but on “how to align / engage / win / deliver / expand opportunities with the customer.” A direct focus on each pillar of the LAER model is not just a re-packaging of previous content into modules that sound like LAER, but a basic re-architecting of the program to focus on you and your business requirements to succeed in the new software market.

    Obviously I am a passionate advocate of the role of partners in Siemens’ go-to-market stategy. Siemens cannot cover the market, engage the customer, achieve adoption, and sustain or expand current customers without the direct contribution of partners across the ecosystem. And partners in the Siemens ecosystem cannot thrive unless they adapt to the new “why” and “how” of customer buying journeys. Partner Academy is a vital step forward for both Siemens and its partners because it is built on the foundational premise of enabling partners to succeed as businesses, not just program participants. The new resources are deep and substantive because they are built by experts in each discipline of the LAER model. Now we just need to put this knowledge into action!

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