What early signs indicate that my channel is performing well?

Partners are taking advantage of it. In the early going you want to see partners requesting assistance, MDF, scheduling training, and pursuing your CAM for meetings. The conversations your CAMs want to have with them are strategic. Not speeds and feeds or more product reviews, but rather business application of your products. They should want more depth on how to properly and effectively position your products with customers. Even better, they should be working you hard to help them create new services they can sell wrapped around your product. Soon the signs you should be looking for will be dollar signs.