Business development: the Compiere approach

On the 9th of January Compiere Inc. announced its worldwide partner program.

From its inception Compiere worked hard to create an ecosystem of firms to provide services to Compiere customers, and today there are nearly 100 partners worldwide.

About three years ago, on the 3th of November 2003, I was writing an article about Compiere to be published on an Italian IT magazine, and I sent an email asking what needed to be listed as certified partner, and I got the following answer:

Dear Roberto, If you pay the Partner fee and attend an Intensive Training class you would be considered a Certified Partner and would be listed on our Web Page. At this time we do not have a written or practical test for certification.

Today reading their announcement I got the impression they’re trying to change their approach, defining three different partnership programs (authorized partner program, authorized silver partner program, authorized gold partner program) corresponding to accomodate different partners’ needs.

Authorized Partner is the basic partner offering designed for smaller partners, and it is a great entry into the partner program for newer partners. Membership fee is $5,000, and partner is expected to maintain at least 1 “Certified Professional

Authorized Partner Silver is designed to meet the needs of most partners. Our silver partners will have extended level support agreements giving the partner access to daily build software releases, partner branded implementation portal, and other benefits not available to authorized partners. Membership fee is $7,500, and partner is expected to maintain at least 2 “Certified Professionals” and meet revenue targets for Compiere.

Authorized Partner Gold is the elite designation for Compiere’s top partners. These are the partners that generate the most business for Compiere, and in return are rewarded with additional partner benefits including click-through ads and distribution of additional sales leads. Membership fee is $10,000, and partner is expected to maintain at least 4 “Certified Professionals” and meet revenue targets for Compiere.

From a customer point of view instead, what is needed is a clear definition of the level of the expertise they can rely upon, and this kind of information is yet not available.

Partners’ page doesn’t distinguish among partners: all partners are equal, but some are (likely) to be more equal than others..

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