Industry 4 & AI: 5 minutes with Gary Sabin from Impartner

Industry 4.0
Gary Sabin, Vice President of Product Management at Impartner Software, discusses empowering Industry 4.0 & shares insights on the evolution of AI & IoT

Gary Sabin is the Vice President of Product Management at Impartner Software, a provider of channel management technologies, including its flagship Partner Relationship Management (PRM) and Partner Marketing Automation solutions, which help companies worldwide manage their partner relationships, drive demand through partners and accelerate revenue and profitability through indirect sales channels. 

“It's a dynamic and exciting space, and I take pride in leading a talented global team to deliver impactful solutions that address our client’s evolving needs in today’s ever-changing tech landscape,” said Sabin, whose work revolves around steering the development and strategy of Impartner Software’s cutting-edge partner management technologies. 

Sabin earned a B.S. in Information Systems from Brigham Young University, providing a solid foundation for his contributions to the ever-evolving SaaS landscape. With over two decades in the SaaS industry, Sabin’s expertise lies in product design, engineering, development and strategy. In his current role, he leads Impartner's global team of engineers, UX/UI professionals and channel strategists, driving the development and strategy of our award-winning channel solutions. 

“I am passionate about digging into organisational problems and solving them with modern technology. I create, scale, and optimise channel management to deliver key outcomes and build amazing teams, all while putting customers at the centre of everything I do.”

Here, he tells us about Industry 4.0, emerging technologies like AI and IoT, 

What excites you about the partner relationship management space, and why is it essential for manufacturers today, especially in the context of Industry 4.0?

“Industry 4.0 demonstrates evolutionary progress in space, as evidenced by the transformation of the market and its leaders. I am eager about this transformative progression because it showcases a fundamental shift in both digital transformation and the partnership ecosystem's ability to play a critical role in how manufacturing organisations go to market. 

“Automation and scale of the plant/shop floor was a major phase of digital transformation for these organisations. Now that same mentality is being brought to technology in how to make client experiences closer, more interactive, and iterative in the process. Bringing the partners and clients to a more seamless process of evaluation, design, purchase and successful project throughput is critical. Impartner plays an instrumental role in shortening that lifecycle and creating a more efficient revenue model.” 

How do emerging technologies like AI, IoT, edge, etc. impact partner relationship management? Particularly in manufacturing, what has it allowed ecosystem-led organisations to accomplish in terms of indirect sales or co-marketing campaigns?

“All of these technologies are about how we act, move and engage faster. These concepts and technologies allow optimising strategies and decision-making in critical areas, such as utilising AI-enhanced data. These technologies also enable co-marketing to be more focused, precise, detailed and scalable. They also empower shortened cycles in sales while leveraging sales data to better identify and target growth sectors where ecosystem partners can find greater success.

“As you leverage edge computing and hyper-design cycles to support client requirements, the process becomes significantly more impactful – this allows an “in-house” or customised feel at an economy of scale that can’t be matched. 

“In addition, generative AI tools play a pivotal role in this landscape to automate highly targeted digital ad campaigns and optimise leads. These AI-powered capabilities are especially valuable in situations where advertising expertise is limited. For Stanley Black & Decker, they utilised our AI-powered ad optimisation technology to address the challenge of local channel partners lacking resources for effective campaigns. The result was a 49% decrease in cost per lead and a 163% increase in local dealer leads, showcasing the impact of integrating generative AI into marketing strategies and the power of partnerships.”

What about economic uncertainty? How does leveraging partnerships help build resilience and navigate times of uncertainty or disruption?  

“Leveraging partnerships emerge as a strategic approach to strengthen against economic uncertainties by optimising resources and expanding market reach. This involves exploring the effectiveness of leveraging partnerships to enhance resilience and navigate disruptive periods. This strategy encompasses adopting a more cost-effective model, considering factors such as sales staff, benefits and target markets. Plus, partnering can reduce the demand on HR, mitigate churn and ensure a seamless co-selling process. Unless a widespread hiring approach is adopted, it provides valuable visibility into markets and companies that may remain unseen by an internal team.”

How do you see partner ecosystems evolving in 2024? What should sales, marketing and business development teams keep in mind as they plan ahead?

“Looking ahead to 2024, the landscape of partner ecosystems is set to transform into dynamic and collaborative experiences, opening up new opportunities. The traditional 1-to-1 model, as exemplified by solutions like Salesforce, is expected to fall short of meeting the evolving expectations of the market. The definition of partnerships is on the brink of significant change, driving toward transactable solutions across various partnership models. This shift will redefine how companies collaborate to deliver these solutions, urging sales, marketing and business development teams to adapt their strategies for this more interconnected ecosystem.”

Tell us about your plans for 2024.

“In 2024, Impartner is poised for strategic advancements. Our focus includes elevating core product applications by refining co-selling mechanisms, enhancing dynamic forms and streamlining deal registration processes. A key initiative involves optimising the management of a diverse partner network, ensuring seamless collaboration. 

“We’re committed to adapting our support for all ecosystems. By refining integrations, connectors and our configuration bundlers, we aim to facilitate a more cohesive and efficient experience for our users. Our dedication to innovation extends to enhancing the user interface, ensuring a seamless and intuitive navigation process. In essence, our goal for 2024 is not only to meet the market's evolving needs, but to set new standards for excellence in partner relationship management.

“We’ll kick our innovations off in 2024 at ImpartnerCon, our seventh annual customer and industry event scheduled for 5-7th February 2024. This event brings together industry ecosystem experts from global Fortune 500 companies to high-growth startups. Guest speakers will include leaders from BeyondTrust, Palo Alto, TD SYNNEX, and BigCommerce, to name a few. Renowned keynote speakers, Jay McBain (Chief Analyst at Canalys), Tiffani Bova (former Growth Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce) and Asher Mathew (CEO of Partnership Leaders), will contribute insights, making ImpartnerCon a pivotal event in the dynamic landscape of B2B partnerships. This summit underscores our commitment to knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and staying at the forefront of industry trends.”


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