Vignette Boosts Channel Incentives

Vignette has assembled a new corporate intranet and developed new training programs for its alliance partners, says Cathie Frazzini, vice president of partners and channels. The company also has increased the amount of market development funds available for channel partners and built up its alliance program staff.

"We're making a huge investment in infrastructure for supporting our partners on a worldwide basis," says Frazzini who joined Vignette in December from TeleTech, where she was vice president of sales and alliances.

Vignette, with 2006 sales of $197.6 million, remains one of the last major independent content management software providers. In the past year IBM acquired FileNet, Oracle bought Stellent, and Open Text acquired Hummingbird (which previously acquired Red Dot Solutions). EMC bought content management powerhouse Documentum in 2003.

Vignette previously took a more ad hoc approach to its channel efforts, but a decision to expand its alliance program was made in late 2006, Frazzini says. Less than 15 percent of Vignette's sales are currently generated through channel partners; the goal is to double that.

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The company, which develops enterprise content, Web content, imaging and workflow management applications, currently has about 200 business partners. But many of them are implementation subcontractors, some of which will be weeded out to make way for new VARs and solution providers that do more of their own marketing and sales-lead generation, Frazzini says.

Vignette's new stable of partners will include VARs that focus on vertical industries and geographic regions -- including ones outside the United States -- where Vignette doesn't have a direct sales presence, according to Frazzini. The roster of partners will also include consultants such as BearingPoint, independent software vendors and OEMs with the total number of partners likely remaining around 200.

Vignette will offer implementation training for partners and discounted customer training for their clients. The company will provide new implementation methodologies and tools on a quarterly basis and global support services backed up by the alliance program extranet. Sales and marketing incentives will include cooperative marketing funds, joint business planning, demonstration software and sales referral fees.