Unless you’ve canceled your cable subscription and disconnected from wifi, you can’t avoid the barrage of sporting events taking place around us. In football — on both sides of the pond –the NFL and English Premier League are both in full swing, while the NBA just started its first week amid controversy regarding Hong Kong. Just recently, the Washington Nationals took home Major League Baseball’s World Series trophy, which hasn’t been in the nation’s capital since 1924. 

The Nats had a long journey making it to the playoffs and later winning the World Series. Their pitchers, hitters, and defensive players all had to come together to propel them to their win. I’m reminded of Zift’s own journey, and how our team has worked as one. After a long journey and the launch of ZiftONE, the first end-to-end software application that covers all channel bases, Zift Solutions was also awarded the Frost Radar Award for Innovation Excellence — you can read the report for yourself at that link. 

Winning this award marked a milestone in a long journey for Zift, like winning the World Series after a long season. It’s required focusing on many aspects of our business to reach this level of performance — building a product that is both deep and broad that engages partners at every turn meant a lot of fine-tuning. It also required having a hard-working, passionate staff and a loyal base of customers who believe in our vision. 

I’d like to share some key insights I’ve gained from making this journey, ultimately winning the Frost Radar Award, and some lessons learned along the way.


Product Depth and Breadth

The analysts at Frost & Sullivan recognized Zift’s ability to provide a broad set of functionality to keep up with modern marketers interested in omnichannel marketing, while also providing additional functionality to support channel planning and oversight, partner recruitment and onboarding, partner sales and marketing enablement, channel demand generation, and channel engagement and sales execution. 

Unlike many companies that provide single-point solutions, Zift delivers everything needed in ZiftONE to engage partners, build knowledge and drive channel performance – all in one platform. By covering all the bases, ZiftONE eliminates the headaches customers face when having to buy multiple software applications to support channel partners. 

Here’s how Frost & Sullivan describes it:

“By including all of these crucial partner management pieces into one solution, Zift takes the guesswork from customers looking to optimize their partner management strategy without tedious integrations and data silos.”


Dedicated Staff and Loyal Partners

The first and hardest part of winning any championship, whether it’s a World Series or an industry award, is making sure the right players are on the field. While merging several companies we had to align our development efforts, streamline our service capabilities and reset our mission from being the best PRM and CMM solution to creating a new software category: enterprise channel management (ECM), which analyst firms are now adopting as they realize the growing need for horizontal channel software. 

This doesn’t happen overnight, though. It comes from a dedicated development team, challenged each and every day by sales teams digging into customer requirements, and from our hard-working services consultants who assist our customers, much like passing the football to a star player for a goal, to reach their channel automation goals. 

It also stems from our customer success and channel engagement teams, who advise partners every day and act as their “virtual marketing” departments. It’s this kind of dedication and shared vision that has created a winning environment at Zift.


Top-Notch Innovation

Given the furious pace of change taking place in the industries we serve like high tech, finance and manufacturing, that Frost & Sullivan gave the award for excellence in innovation over the other companies we compete against speaks volumes. 

Innovation isn’t limited to product alone. You’ll find it in various forms at Zift. It manifests as thought leadership from our CTO and our development staff, who are pioneering the latest innovation in artificial intelligence as it applies to the channel; it comes from our expanding ecosystem of partners, which include ancillary tools like incentives and propensity data vendors that add value to a partner’s experience on our platform; and it comes from our customers who provide us regular feedback in roadmap sessions and advisory councils that challenge our thinking and make us better.


I had the honor of flying to Austin, Texas to receive the Frost & Sullivan Awards. Aside from attending the ceremony, I had a chance to spend time with other company executives who shared new ideas, challenges and stories of how they’re reaching greatness. While accepting the award, I shared our story and the journey Zift has taken. If you’d like to read the report for yourself, you’ll find it here