Acacia Technologies, a local software developer and supply chain management software division of Computer Associates, has coordinated a partner program that aims to centrally organise post-sales service and standardise reseller service levels.
The program has already attracted support from integrator Kaz Computer Services and distributor Leadtec. Both organisations will act as specialised consultants and service providers.
According to David Hobbs, Acacia's Australia-New Zealand vice president, the program has been designed to create a network of highly skilled channel partners.
"The market for resources in Australia is too small, and all service providers are struggling to consistently offer a range of specialist skills," he claimed. "The time has come for consultancies to specialise."
In order to achieve this, Acacia is structuring the system around the concept of "co-opetition", whereby the developer selects the most appropriate business partner for the customer's environment.
Partners were originally chosen, and will continue to be selected on the merits of their individual profiles. According to Jeremy Cooper, Acacia's business partner and marketing man-ager, Kaz (a facilities management and mid-range integrator) and Leadtec (an EDI and e-commerce solution distributor) were approached because "they have an identifiable level of expertise in the market place.
"We also have had a prior relationship with several potential partners and IBM have recommended some others.
"It is not necessary to know us, though. If a company is a leader in the market they can become a partner," he added.
However, Cooper admitted that in order to present a comprehensive skill base, the partner program still has some gaps to fill.
"We are looking at the emerging areas of e-commerce and constraint systems in order to give the customer the optimum level of expertise."
Acacia officials claim that existing and potential partners will be expected to meet the program's stringent certification levels. For example, a partner that specialises in ERP solutions will be trained by Acacia to further refine its core competency.
Cooper claimed this strategy would sustain a better and less confusing service for customers in that it provides a "single point of contact and tighter integration of pre and post sales services".