Q Tell me a bit about your yourself and your career before founding PartnerScore…
A Sure, so my career before founding partner school was pretty diverse actually. I started in engineering, so I spent a period of time working on technology platforms for telecoms companies, and I decided then to move into marketing. So, I've done a bit of marketing, consulting and then products. But the theme for the last 15 years or so, it's all been around data products.
I've worked for some of the largest data providers and market intelligence providers, and it's always been about providing decision grade data for different industries and really, you know, my interest is in that space and that's what brought me into founding PartnerScore and providing decision data for the partnership industry.
Q How did PartnerScore come about and what did you set out to achieve?
A So PartnerScore actually came out of some academic work that was done about 15 years ago and there was some research done by a guy, Dr. Richard Gibbs, and he set out to understand how to make partner ecosystems more predictable.
And the finding that he came out of his research was that the single biggest factor for the future success of a partner was the human relationship that exists between two partners. And he set out to measure that and find a way to measure that and build a methodology and the underlying foundation for partner score is this methodology.
We took that to a new level with the new product that we have today to build that into a product that it could be used by various different aspects of the industry.
Q Where are you on the journey to your goals?
A So we're about three years into the PartnerScore journey and as the business stands today. We set out to build a platform to provide this information to partners and also partnership leaders to 1) help them make better decisions on the way they manage their partnerships, but 2) kind of keep those decision makers and leaders ahead of the game in terms of understanding what's happening with the people on the ground and within those partnership teams.
So, our journey really has consisted of initially proving the concept in terms of the data set. So, we set out to prove does the partner school dataset really make sense to the various different businesses that go to market for partners? We were successful in that and so the next stage really has been to productise that into a new ecosystem platform, that will bring the various partnership and players together, around a common scorecard and allow them to collaborate more effectively and produce more predictable outcomes.
Q What does success look like to you - is it purely financial, or are there other indicators you consider?
A We obviously have success metrics around financial, these are required for us to continue and for us to operate but really the way that we measure success on a day-to-day basis is around usage of the platform. We track, whether we're getting the right engagement levels and whether our users are really understanding the data sets in a way that can help them make better decisions and these are the real success measures for the platform. These are the things that are going to encourage ongoing usage and deliver the most value.
So, that's kind of the way that we view this from a success point of view, on a day-to-day basis.
Q How does your business look different now vs. when you first started?
A So, we first started with really an idea. It was built on the back of some work consultancy style product work that had taken place. So, we had the foundations in place in terms of how to use the dataset and how valuable it would be to clients but it's really evolved quite significantly in terms of the platform.
So, we started off in a real kind of MVP [Minimum Viable Product] style, cobbling together various different platforms to collect the data and to use it and the biggest change that we've made really over the last couple of years is to turn that into a scalable SaaS product, that that we can onboard new clients easily to and it will operate at scale quite successfully.
The next stage really, so for looking forward, we're really moving now into building up the teams and for that we need to get some investment in place, so it's going to change again as we start to pitch for four rounds of investment so we can bring in larger teams around the operational side, sales side and on the product side.
Q What has been the biggest challenge since you started the business?
A Our biggest challenge really has been getting the format for the platform right. So, we are collecting human data, which requires people to give you that data and in order to make that work, all sides of all users, all stakeholders of that dataset and the people that we're collecting that data from, need to feel that there's some value in it for them in doing so.
So, we've really spent a lot of time taking the concept from a traditional SaaS product, to one that has benefits for different user groups and different stakeholders and that's been our biggest challenge really, making sure that that works, that we get the right adoption so that we have a model that will allow us to easily collect the data for clients and then for clients to be able to digest and use that in a scalable way, because there's a there's a lot of different users both on both sides of the partnership and in both businesses, that will get value from accessing information.
And it's really about making sure that that works effectively so they know when bits of information are available, they can act on it and then the whole thing becomes a much more fruitful exercise, in terms of improving the operation of that partnership.
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