Plumtree Revamps Partner Program

Under Applications Incubator, partners paid Plumtree a $25,000 quarterly subscription fee to receive a variety of marketing, sales and support services. Membership in the Synergy Alliance program is free.

Designed to woo global systems integrators, regional consulting partners, VARs and developers, the new program includes the same positioning, market analysis and ROI templates used by the San Francisco company's direct-sales force.

Known as a player in the portal market, Plumtree now pushes its software for building and implementing composite applications in a services-oriented architecture (SOA) environment. "We have significant revenue opportunities around portals and composite apps," said Tony Sanders, Plumtree's vice president of worldwide channel Operations. "The program is designed to address the unique requirements of the different kinds of channel partners and provide the content and education they need to span from portals to [composite applications]."

An "evolution" of the previous program, Synergy Alliance now provides 40 percent licensing discounts for Plumtree's software. In the past, Plumtree fielded a variety programs with a confusing array of discounts, Sanders said. In addition, Plumtree now offers a 10 percent referral fee, with no cap, on leads that generate new license revenue. "This can be for an existing accounting, just not for add-on seats," Sanders said.

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The new deal-registration program, designed to handle referrals and reseller sales, is managed by Plumtree's channel organization, according to Sanders. "For referrals, the leads come directly to the channel manager," he said. "They look at net new license opportunities and see if the account is already registered or active. If not, they input the registration and market it as a new license opportunity, and the direct rep has about three days to commit to the sale."

Plumtree has instituted a process that, for example, allows partners to challenge a direct rep's decision not to accept the lead, Sanders said. Partners also can escalate the decision for arbitration, bringing in Plumtree management to decide the best way to go after the transaction.

"We've done our best to mitigate conflict," Sanders said. "If a deal goes through the channel, the direct-sales organization is incented to help close that deal."

In addition, Plumtree now offers a much simplified five-page contract, down from about 25 pages, allowing partners to plug in conditions that relate to how they choose to participate--as developer, systems integrator or reseller, for example. Other program benefits include positioning and competitive analysis, ROI templates, sales and technical training, a designated partner manager and quarterly business reviews.

More information about Synergy Alliance can be found on Plumtree's partner Web site.