After a long period in which there seemed to be little to report, PRM or partner relationship management,
appears to be enjoying an upswing. PRM was an unfortunate fellow
traveler with all the other ‘RM’ permutations that came about in the
dot-com bubble. There was also eCRM, which was a distinction without a
difference, and ERM in which the ‘e’ stood for employees. That idea has
suffered much the same fate as PRM — not totally forgotten but
decidedly a backwater compared to CRM.
It may simply be that once a lot of people figured out how much work
it took to implement and use CRM, many enterprises figured one ‘RM’
(real mess?) was enough to have on the plate at a time. At any rate, as
CRM has settled into a more predictable business, PRM is again bubbling
to the surface, but that explanation is too simple to account for all
things PRM these days.
A better set of explanations can be found in supply and demand. For example, for some time, the amount of technology products sold through the channel and channel partners has been steadily increasing to the point that people at BlueRoads, for instance, tell me that more technology products get sold through the channel today than through the direct sales force.