Archive for December, 2009

A Minivan is NOT an Upgrade!

By Diane Krakora, CEO

I travel a lot. Well, not that much compared to you global channel chiefs out there – but I’m going somewhere every other week. I only rent from Hertz. Don’t ask me why… I don’t remember anymore (it’s been that long). This last trip I showed up at the Gold Member “board” and was spritely directed to my car located in stall #48. I thought “at least it’s close and I don’t have to shelp all this stuff through the freezing rain.” My heart stops as I get to stall #44 … it couldn’t be… they wouldn’t dare! Yes, they assigned me a minivan. No offense to you moms out there. I’ve only been in a minivan once (Sandra’s) and I would really rather NOT drive one. I shelp back to the Gold Member counter and very sweetly ask the woman “could I get the compact I requested … or even a subcompact please?”  She snorts and types away on her 1970’s terminal and finally responds “you’ve been upgraded.” I smile and say (without my standard sarcasm) “that’s really nice – but I prefer the compact. I’m more comfortable with it.”  She frowned and barked something that basically meant I was stuck with the mom-van. Looking back, I’m sure she said something about being completely out of the car I requested – even though I walked past a dozen on my way to space #48. All I heard was “blah, blah… you’ll be driving a minivan.” Eeecck!

I relay this story not to seem snobbish about my transportation options … but to remind us all who create “upgrade paths” to ensure the upgrade is actually preferred by the partner. For example, if a partner in the lower tier of your program does really well and sells a bunch of gear – you’re likely to “promote” that partner to the next level. Great! More benefits – like access to MDF, deal registration and a partner account manager. What if that partner doesn’t WANT one of those benefits – say the “account manager?” There could be several reasons why … the requirement to talk to and coordinate with said “account manager” being one. I’m not suggesting you drop your account manager structure. I’m simply highlighting that to a certain set of partners (people) all benefits are not created equal. Some of use just don’t want to drive a minivan – even if it is more spacious, more powerful and more luxurious than a compact car. Some people would be delighted with the larger car. Me, not so much. Are you upgrading your partners to a minivan?

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December 10, 2009 at 12:04 am Leave a comment

SaaS Leader Continues Major Product Innovations: Can Partnering Support Keep Pace?

By Beth Vanni, Director, Market Intelligence

For nearly a decade, Salesforce.com has created major waves in the traditional enterprise software market. Now with $1.3 billion in revenues and 70,000 customers, the SaaS innovator has clearly changed the way software is delivered and managed.

At this year’s Dreamforce user conference, it was clear that the SaaS provider has aims to not only dominate the legacy CRM and SFA markets, but is trying to innovate the way all parts of the IT ecosystem (customers, ISVs, solution providers) create collaborative relationships using technology.

As many would expect, the keynote sessions were all about software/ service innovation. Marc Benioff, the company’s charismatic Chairman and CEO, evangelized the next generation applications offering.  This included the Sales Cloud 2, Service Cloud 2, Custom Cloud 2 and newly announced Chatter collaboration platforms.  A host of new features were announced for all product sets, to the enthusiastic reception of the user and partner audience. (more…)

December 9, 2009 at 11:58 pm Leave a comment

Cisco Small Business Partner Program Announcements

By Diane Krakora, CEO

Also See: Channel Insider

December 1, 2009 at 7:29 pm Leave a comment


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