Platinum Software wants to get bigger. Appropriately enough then, its new reseller program, to be rolled out from 1 July, is called Partners for Growth.
According to regional director and channel manager Stephen Sims, the new program builds on the strength of the channel Platinum has in place today. "What we've done is to go through and analyse it, try and make it easier for people to work with us," said Sims, "and we've taken the good quality stuff and enhanced it and repackaged it and streamlined it.
"What we've actually done is created materials and systems - things like marketing strategies and tactics books."
The overall aim is to get more feet on the street to increase Platinum's market share. "The key is making sure that we're easy to deal with, that they have everything they need to sell effectively."
Sims says the program is designed to maintain that focus. "Once you've got a VAR, the key then is to keep them satisfied as a customer. And that's where our programs come in. Helping them sell more easily and being able to have all the marketing tools - it's those things that make a VAR stay with you. We've got resellers that have been with us for nine or ten years, and have been with us through good and bad because we've looked after them."
Sims already claims success when it comes to building the Platinum partner base, with at least one new VAR coming on board every month. He says Platinum's channel managers have been trained to look for the right types of VARs to add to the fold. "It's really about quality rather than volume," said Sims. "There's been lot of discussion and evaluation of the correct profile for a reseller. We've looked at the ones we've been working with for the last five to ten years, and asked 'what's the profile of a successful reseller?', 'what are the key resources that they have to have?' and 'what's the key business focuses?'."
Sims recognises that Platinum is recruiting in what is essentially a crowded market, with Systems Union, Great Plains and AccPac already laying claim to much of the available talent. He says typically the people Platinum is seeking would already be selling a competitive product, and may have lost a sale in competition with Platinum. "So what we're doing is talking to people that are selling products we believe we have a better solution to."
Sims also says he is happy to sign on as the number two product in a reseller, to get a foot in the door. "We're quite happy to do that, and that's the way we'll build our channel, to get our product in as perhaps their second product, and all going according to plan it will become their primary product".
The Partners for Growth program sees business partners segregated into four distinct groups: VARs, authorised consultants, strategic implementation partners, and solution providers. It is in the first category that the majority of business partners will fit.
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