Cloud-based expense management provider, Concur, has launched a new partner program in Australia to help it push further into the local SMB market.
The new program, named the Concur Service Provider Program (CSPP), was launched during the Microsoft Australian Partner Conference on the Gold Coast in early September. It introduces a new model, with partners categorised into three tiers: diamond, platinum, and registered.
According to Concur business development director, Murray Warner, each tier will offer partners different levels of revenue share and marketing spend, depending on the amount of potential business each partner can bring to the table.
“Some of our partners on the existing plan, based on their performance, will automatically be pulled across into a diamond status, while others will come in at the other levels, where we will then try to elevate them to upper tiers,” Warner told ARN.
The launch of the new partner program is part of the company’s ongoing push to expand its presence in the SMB market, locally and further afield. While Concur has been going after the smaller end of the market for some time, it has its roots at the big end of town.
Now, with the new partner program up and running, the expense and travel management company hopes to engage further with what it considers to be a largely untapped market.
“In Australia, we think there are about 60,000 SMB customers with less than 1000 employees, of which we think we’ve maybe tapped one per cent,” Warner said. “Most of those are still entirely manual, and every single one of those customers can use a system like ours. So, we think we’ve got a huge market to play in.
“Really it’s a play primarily into the SMB space for us that will allow us to really scale out across Australia,” he said.
The new program means a broadening of the type of partners Concur wants to play with, as it partners up with cloud service providers and other organisations that occupy a very different space in the market to its traditional palette of enterprise resource planning (ERP) providers.
In this goal, the company has partnered with the likes of Uber and Ingogo, among others. These partnerships, and others like it, have been made possible by the work Concur has been putting into building open application programming interfaces (APIs) that let it connect to a ranger of other systems. Of particular interest is its integration with Microsoft.
“With the launch of this new program, what we’re really trying to do is get a much greater scale and expand more into the Microsoft world, in particular, and being able to tap into providers such as those selling things like Office 365,” Warner said.
For local partners, the overhauled program is aimed at broadening the range of businesses Concur works with in the local market, and how its relationships are managed with local providers.
“What we’re doing is rebranding the program and refocusing who we’re targeting with it. And we’re changing some of the economics on it, to be able to increase what we pay in the first year, from a partnership perspective, but also break into new types of partners, particularly new cloud services, outside of just ERP,” Warner said.
Given that Concur has already tapped much of the larger enterprise market in Australia, the new program and the strategy driving are likely to continue to push the company’s local SMB business which, according to Warner, is already beginning to outpace its large enterprise business.
“Now, year-on-year, we’re generating more new revenue from the SMB side than we are from up above it,” Warner said.
“Going into this next year I don’t expect we’ll be hiring any more sales people in the large market enterprise segment, but we’ll probably grow by a third again down in SMB.”