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I work closely with industry analysts on a regular basis in my role at Zift — and I have tremendous respect for their work. It’s their job to survey different markets, understand available technology offerings and compare the capabilities of vendors working within the same space.

But, each and every time Zift contributes to an analyst report, I find myself singing the theme song to an early-80s sitcom, Square Pegs. I loved this show and adored watching the bright super-nerds Patty Greene and brace-faced Lauren Hutchinson trying their damnedest to join the “in” crowd at Weemawee High.

Organizations looking for solutions to their business challenges often rely on industry analysts from leading firms like Forrester, SiriusDecisions and Gartner to gather insight and direction prior to implementing a technology. They are considered the experts — the cool kids, per se. They determine who’s in and who’s out.

 

More Than a Little Unconventional

Zift works hard to ensure that they (and those who rely on their research) have the most current and comprehensive information about our products and services. Over the past several years, the channel technology (ChanTech) market has exploded. Analysts are working hard to categorize new offerings and providers. But Zift rarely fits into a specific category, even among channel-specific B2B technologies — hence, that ‘Square Pegs’ feeling.  And, like my beloved Square Pegs Patty and Lauren, Zift is more than a little unconventional.

There are multiple analyst reports focused on Through Channel Marketing Automation or TCMA (in which Zift is classified as a Leader), Partner Relationship Management (PRM), Channel-focused Learning Management (CLM) and more. But these highly segmented reports don’t cover the broader scope of what Zift provides, or what today’s channel leaders actually need to drive engagement, growth, and revenue.

Pure-play providers may fit neatly into these little boxes and pre-defined categories, but Zift does more. We see and fulfill the broader need for Enterprise Channel Management, which goes way beyond all those siloed solutions.

Zift’s approach to innovation may make us a square peg, but it keeps us and our customers in a leadership position. We know channel leaders are tired of purchasing, implementing and managing multiple disparate applications and point solutions to support their channel programs. Our focus is to deliver an integrated platform that spans the entire channel lifecycle. This is where we are investing heavily — over 27% of our revenue is invested in R&D. We are always looking ahead.

However, we are not only planning for the future. Today we are combining key TCMA, PRM, CLR functionality and more through the Zift platform. But we know even great tech doesn’t do much on its own. So, we also connect our users to the Channel Success, Engagement and Creative Services real people working in the channel require now.

Let’s face it: Today’s complex channel challenges aren’t going to be solved by a single-faceted solution. And Zift simply won’t be typecast. (P.S. For the record, turned out that super geeky early 80’s Patty from Square Pegs grew into the late 90s It-Girl and fashion icon, Carrie Bradshaw.) Patty, Carrie, and Zift: all innovators. All just a little ahead of their time. (Betcha’ the analysts will catch on and catch up soon…)