#02 - Emilia Janis: Partner Programs Necessity, Leveraging Ecosystems, Nearbound, Organic Program Evolution

This time we're joined by Emilia Janis, Head of Partnerships at OneFlow, a passionate advocate for partner programs within the SaaS realm. Hosted by Andreas Kongstad, this discussion explores the strategic leverage of ecosystems and the evolution of partner programs for business growth.

In This Episode

Emilia joins us in a discussion about the integral role of partner programs in SaaS businesses. This episode discusses the paths toward using the potential of ecosystems through well-structured partner programs and introduces listeners to the concept of 'Nearbound'—a combination of inbound and outbound strategies designed to amplify revenue streams.

Key Takeaways

  • Essentiality of Partner Programs in SaaS Ventures: Exploring why every SaaS firm should consider them as fundamental as sales and marketing.
  • Utilizing Ecosystems for Growth: How strategically leveraging networks can expedite business scaling.
  • Evolving Partner Programs Organically: The importance of allowing partner strategies to grow and adapt organically based on real-time data and interactions.

Necessity of Partner Programs for SaaS Companies

Emilia argues that omitting a partner program in a SaaS setup is akin to overlooking a critical revenue stream. Comparing its absence to a tech company without a marketing department, she highlights how integral these programs are for comprehensive market penetration and revenue diversification.

  • Importance of viewing partner programs as parallel to core business functions
  • Utilizing partner programs as strategic tools for market expansion and penetration

Leveraging Ecosystems for Accelerated Growth

Janis discusses the value of tapping into existing networks—customers, peers, and other contacts—to bolster company growth. She underscores that to ignore such resources is a lost opportunity for rapid scaling and enhanced customer relations.

  • Strategies for identifying and activating potential ecosystem partners
  • Case studies from OneFlow's success stories underscore the power of effective ecosystem leveraging

Organic Development and Evolution of Partner Programs

Initially reactive, OneFlow’s partner program evolved through a process that Emilia describes as organic yet strategic. This segment explores how an adaptive approach to partner program development can lead to a more natural and effective integration into the company’s overarching business strategy.

  • Building flexibility into partner programs to adapt to new insights and market conditions
  • Encouraging a culture of continuous evaluation and iteration for program improvement

Concept and Impact of 'Nearbound' as a Revenue Stream

Introducing 'Nearbound'—an approach that combines the strengths of inbound and outbound strategies through partnership dynamics. This novel concept represents a shift toward a more integrated and holistic view of revenue generation in SaaS businesses.

  • Explaining how 'Nearbound' differs from traditional strategies and its advantages
  • Practical advice on instituting a 'Nearbound' approach in existing marketing and sales frameworks

Activating Partners and Aligning on Shared Goals

One of the most critical aspects of a partner program is active engagement and alignment of objectives. Emilia explores how the alignment of goals not only motivates partners but also streamlines efforts toward common business objectives.

  • Techniques for ensuring active participation from partners
  • Methods for aligning company and partner goals to enhance cooperative success

The Importance of Dedicated Resources for Managing Partner Programs

Highlighting the significance of investing in dedicated resources, Emilia urges companies not to skimp on staffing their partner programs. Justifying such investment with the potential returns a well-oiled partner program can generate, she advocates for adequate resourcing as essential for any serious partnership endeavor.

  • Discussion on resource allocation for partner program management
  • Impact analysis of adequately resourced vs. under-resourced partner programs


  • (00:06) Importance of Partner Programs in SaaS Ventures
  • (02:15) Leveraging Ecosystems for Growth
  • (04:00) Organic Development and Evolution of Partner Programs
  • (10:45) Concept and Impact of 'Nearbound' as a Revenue Stream
  • (15:20) Activating Partners and Aligning on Shared Goals
  • (20:30) The Importance of Dedicated Resources for Managing Partner Programs

Connect with Emilia here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilia-janis-4815b8108/ 

Connect with Andreas here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreaskongstad/ 

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