Kauppakorkeakoulun julkaisuportaali
Aalto-yliopiston kauppakorkeakoulun gradujen tiedot nyt Aaltodocissa: Aaltodoc-julkaisuarkisto
Kauppakorkeakoulu | Markkinoinnin ja johtamisen laitos | Kansainvälinen liiketoiminta | 2010
Tutkielman numero: 12380
Partner as a sales channel in the ICT-Industry - a case of critical success factor development
Tekijä: Gröhn, Johanna
Otsikko: Partner as a sales channel in the ICT-Industry - a case of critical success factor development
Vuosi: 2010  Kieli: eng
Laitos: Markkinoinnin ja johtamisen laitos
Aine: Kansainvälinen liiketoiminta
Asiasanat: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; yhteistyö; cooperation; myynti; sales; tietotekniikka; information technology; tietoliikenne; data communication; toimialat; business branches
Sivumäärä: 90
Avainsanat: Partnering; Sales channels; ICT-industry; Horizontal cooperation
AALTO UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS ABSTRACT International Business: Master’s Thesis 03.09.2010 Johanna Gröhn


Objective of the Research Companies are increasingly seeking ways to offer added value to customers by using external sales channels - including a previously almost unthinkable concept of collaborating with competitors, horizontal cooperation. This study explores how to develop a set of success criteria for the partner sales channel in the ICT-Industry. Based on a literature review of sales channel and business partnering research, the empirical part of this study is carried out through critical success factor development in the context of a global case company which utilizes horizontal cooperation as a sales channel.

Methodology This study is qualitative in nature and the method utilized is a case study. There are two main parts of collecting research material. First of all, a literature review is conducted in order to build the theoretical foundation for the research. Secondly, the research material is derived from ten (10) semi-structured interviews of the case company’s management and sales personnel from two country subsidiaries, Finland and Germany. The former acted as a case of a low-performing unit, and the latter as an exemplary high-performing unit, and the results were compared and analyzed.

Findings and Conclusions A theoretical optimal partner sales channel model was compiled and its main categories included sales channel strategy and structure, sales channel management, and sales channel relationships. The examination of these factor and their subcategories resulted in the finding that the framework was confirmed and supported, but the results also suggest that the emphases of the factors in this study context are different because of the dynamics of horizontal cooperation. Consequently, some factors surfaced as core critical success factors. This study offers a holistic perspective of an optimal partner sales channel model in the horizontal partnering context and therefore the study’s main scientific contribution arise from the synthesis of existing research from the fields of sales channels and business partnering and testing these results. Also, this study further strengthens the view that companies should take advantage of all kinds of relationships, especially the ones with partners, but also those with competitors. The results of this research are useful for business and sales management especially in the ICT-industry.
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