Interwoven to weave a channel of its own

Interwoven to weave a channel of its own

Web content management vendor, Interwoven, wants to build an indirect sales channel.

Interwoven alliances and marketing director, Andrew Antal, said that through the channel, Interwoven could take advantage of current market conditions to make a move on the banking, finance and corporate sectors.

Antal said the recent acquisition of iManage, whose business is 100 per cent channel-based, had illustrated the power and potential of the channel and influenced Interwoven’s decision to go indirect.

“iManage rounded out our overall story on content management,” he said. “It also provided us with a base of 35 partners, including Alphawest and Inform.”

Interwoven had previously concentrated on tier one enterprise customers, selling its solutions to companies such as Qantas, AMP, the RTA, Sydney and Newcastle universities, Antal said.

Market opportunities in new sectors were ripe for the picking and the debate over building a channel came down to one simple question: Where do our products fit in?

According to Antal, website management was increasingly viewed as part of a company’s infrastructure and the question of driving revenue through a site and how to save on costs was recurring more often.

“In the last two quarters, Web content management has come back into the mix,” Antal said. “There are a lot of projects around websites now and our direct model can’t handle all of the business falling on our desks.”

It would take 12 months, in Antal’s estimation, to educate the channel on the benefits of ECM and WCM and move it toward self-sufficiency. The process of certifying new partners on Interwoven’s solutions would be dependent on the product, he said, but would generally include sales training of one hour a week over four weeks, and a boot camp of one to two weeks.

Interwoven had signed Dialog as a partner, based on the company’s access to the government and corporate verticals, and was close to signing three more channel partners with banking and document management experience, Antal said.

Potential partners should not be deterred by the common belief that high-end solutions, such as those ranging from $50,000 to 250,000, could only be sold through a direct model.

He said partners could make extra revenue by providing services alongside Interwoven’s software solutions.

“A solution may be $10,000 to $50,000, but the money from services can be double that,” Antal said. “We are seeing ratios of 2:1 or 3:1 on solution-to-service sales.”

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