WorkShare Cranks Up Channel Program

Dubbed the Integrity Partner Program, the initiative offers solution providers three tiers of commitment and benefits, including Referral, Authorized and Gold levels, said George Korchinsky, executive vice president of market development for Workshare, which is based in London.

Partner margins in the program vary according to the tier. They range from 10 percent for a referral deal to between 15 percent and 20 percent for a fulfillment-oriented partner and to between 30 percent and 35 percent for VARs and integrators that marry technical support, consulting and implementation services to a sale, Korchinsky said.

"With this new program, we see an incredible focus on the channel first," said Stephen Fredette, president of Perfect Access Speer, a New York-based solution provider that has already built a practice around Workshare's software.

Workshare's offerings include DeltaView, which tracks changes to documents and can filter for macros, comments and metadata; Protect, which can apply specific security policies to documents; and Professional, which offers secure document compliance. A suite with all three functions costs $349, without any volume discounts. The software works with e-mail systems such as Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes and Novell GroupWise. It also integrates with document management software from Hummingbird, Interwoven and Documentum.

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But it's the software's close ties to Microsoft Office and SharePoint that Workshare touts most vocally. "Microsoft doesn't have an answer to document security today," said Workshare CEO Joe Fantuzzi.

Just because Workshare hasn't had a formal channel program doesn't mean it hasn't been working with partners, particularly those serving law firms, legal departments and customers that can run extensive practices in document management or production. Last year, 38 percent of the five-year-old company's U.S. sales came through the channel, Fantuzzi estimated. Workshare has about 5,000 corporate customers and 750,000 users.

Fantuzzi and other Workshare executives said the company's sales team sees commissions rise when they generate business in conjunction with partners, and the new program sets more formal rules of engagement. The company also touts its partner portal, which lets VARs closely track the status of customer prospects.

"It positions us as being an extension of their sales team," said Mark Moerdler, president of MDY Advanced Technologies, a Workshare partner in Fair Lawn, N.J. "This formalization will make it better for us."

Christopher Gaudon, president and CEO of groupcaptiva, a security solution provider based in Ottawa, said his company actively pursued a relationship with Workshare based on the strength of its technology. "I see the need for policy enforcement. There's a big market in this space," he said.

A new Workshare reseller, groupcaptiva sees the benefits of the Workshare channel program as fairly standard, but what sets Workshare apart is its willingness to create deep relationships with channel partners, according to Gaudon. "They really want to help me be successful," he said.