Motorola Solutions is expanding the part of its PartnerEmpower channel program focused on ISVs and mobile and converged communications app development, hoping to better align channel resources to those software-savvy partners in much the same way it's bolstered programs for more-traditional reseller and integrator partners.
Juliann Larimer, vice president of global channels, first mentioned the move in a January 2012 interview with CRN. Earlier this week, Motorola made it official with the launch of its Application Partner Community, into which it will transition partners currently registered under Motorola's PartnerSelect Program for ISVs.
Under the program, partners can earn either Application Specialist or Application Elite Specialist status, and their level in the program determines the types of benefits they receive. Various partner benefits include an application demo library and access to Motorola engineers for solution-testing, as well as early access to upcoming Motorola products.
"We've been looking at how do we give our app partners a very viable value proposition from us," Mark Kroh, vice president, North America channels for Motorola Solutions, told CRN this week. "It takes world-class hardware and software to deliver world-class solutions, so we want to make sure we're attracting the best of the best."
The goal of the Application Partner Community is to better compensate Motorola Solutions app developers and ISVs, who represent a fairly broad swath of specialists that work with Motorola's RhoElements, MotoTrbo and other portfolio-specific app dev frameworks, Kroh said.
Motorola also is trying to drive closer interaction between its reseller and integrator communities and its developers. At Motorola Solutions' partner conference in March, Motorola emphasized to its roughly 3,000 attendees that it was moving from point product resale channels to an ecosystem, where ISVs and solution providers can be profitable behind Motorola products but also unlock value for each other.
ISVs can be compensated from Motorola directly from a program called ISV Rewards, Kroh said, in which ISVs that partner with solution providers on Motorola deals get a piece of that deal even if they aren't the ones selling any of the hardware or services. About two-thirds of Motorola Solutions' app developer partners don't resell hardware, and others that do told Motorola they did so only because they felt they needed to do more than write code and sell software to win deals, Kroh said.
In addition, Motorola this week held its its inaugural North America developer conference, AppForum Americas 2012, in Schaumburg, Ill., near Motorola Solutions' headquarters. Kroh said Motorola Solutions had about 250 app developer partners from all over the Americas, many of whom were new to the program and had never participated in a Motorola event before.
"The message was: 'You are so important to us,' " Kroh said. " 'We are not in the code-writing business; that's what we need you for.' I think it's been very well received."
NEXT: Motorola's Expanding PartnerEmpower
Motorola Solutions has continued to make changes to PartnerEmpower since its early 2011 split from Motorola Mobility, now part of Google.
Among the changes have been a firmer embrace of software-centric channel partners that can provide value-add to Motorola products such as the ET1 Android tablet and the RhoElements application framework for launching mobile apps.
PartnerEmpower was conceived in 2009 and launched in early 2010. It originally was designed as a complete overhaul of Motorola's channel programs and a way to better organize its partners into three principal product areas: Radio Solutions, Mobile Solutions and Wireless Network Solutions. Partners are awarded points based on their levels of partnership in these areas and on their specializations in technology and vertical markets such as health care or federal government. Those points translate into more partner resources and better pricing, among other benefits.
Motorola had a few additional updates to share this week: the launch of its new partner portal, PartnerCentral, and that it is now basing participation in its Wireless Network Solutions specialization on four technology segments -- converged communication, wireless local area networks, wireless outdoor networks and wireless security. Partner benefits for Wireless Network Solutions will be determined based on how partners play in those areas.
"We're going to keep building PartnerEmpower linearly," Kroh said. "The goal since the split has been to be a complete solutions company, and that's what we're focused on."