Business Partner Model - Final note

By Joe Francica

We have heard from those who are "the partners." Now we present the responses of the software companies that offer the partnership programs.ESRI, Intergraph, MapInfo, and Microsoft responded to our questions.But let's cut to the chase right up front.The relationship is symbiotic to a point.There is mutual benefit so long as the little guy isn't stepping on the toes of the big guy.And in the end, if things are not working out for the big guy, the rules can change.As the market evolves, so does the model.In the past, the business partner who sold as many licenses of software as possible or offered unique services was doing well.Today, software unit sales are down as both enterprise solutions and the ASP model begin to make sense and more services are demanded.After a particularly good year of unit sales, one business partner offered this complaint:

"You would think that even a courtesy phone call from any of their management would be in order.No.That is not their style.I think they prefer smaller resellers who are 'box' pushers who drink the 'kool-aid' and want to bump out the VAR's who DO add value because they are beginning to see that the mania of the last 3 years is coming to a screeching halt and revenue around "total solutions" is what the next level holds for them."

The result is a need on the part of each group, business partners and software vendors, to adjust their business model in order to succeed.I asked each vendor a series of questions about how they engage partners for their program and the support that is available.Read each vendor's response:

ESRI's response
NOTE: it was timely for ESRI to respond to the premise that I put before the Business Partner community because of their Business Partner conference this week in Palm Springs, California.We have published a link to some of the partner's responses here.The respondents are a good cross section of both small and large service providers.

Intergraph's Response

MapInfo's Response

Microsoft's Response

Published Wednesday, February 27th, 2002

Written by Joe Francica

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