NetSuite's Channel Structure, Partner Ecosystem Evolving With Its Products

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NetSuite's channel structure is evolving with its product portfolio, and a new initiative introduced to partners this week at the cloud software vendor's SuiteWorld conference aims to modernize how those partners are evaluated and recognized.

The initiative, called Partner Altitude, implements a data-driven scoring system for measuring channel practices across several criteria, and recognizing success accordingly with program status and credentials, Craig West, NetSuite's channel chief, told CRN.

The new approach helps NetSuite identify partners that are maturing their practices, not just driving large sales, as the core technology evolves and a more diverse base of partners enters the fold, West said.

[Related: NetSuite Previews For Partners More Customizable, Intelligent ERP And Commerce Platform]

"We want to acknowledge the partners that are really broadly firing on all cylinders across the big things we can measure," West told CRN. "And it sets us up to start adding additional benefits and tweaking benefits."                                             

The "four pillars" of Altitude, West said, revealed to partners at the start of the conference in San Jose, Calif., on Monday, were determined through market research and analytics. They are: commerce, how much they're selling; competency, certifications they're earning; customers, success with renewals and retention; and collaboration, how well their business aligns with the vendor.

Scorecards, posted in real time and updated via the partner portal, will determine if solution providers are recognized with Premier or Elite status in the program, West said.

One advantage of the new system is its portability across partner communities, with only slight tweaking needed to differentiate between solution providers and global system integrators, he said. The first evaluation of Altitude scores will be done in January, with sales considered for the previous 12 months.

John Hughes, a co-founder of NetSuite partner ManageForce, said the solution provider based in Chicago welcomes any system of scoring partners with specific objectives and criteria.

When the NetSuite Channels team was recruiting ManageForce to join the program late last year, a repeated message was that they were making a concerted effort to cut "dead wood" partners who joined the program but weren't engaged or active in bringing to market the product, and replace them with more capable and committed partners, Hughes told CRN.

"So we’re confident that results will follow and that ManageForce should rank very competitively against other partners," Hughes said. "We expect to continue this type of commitment and, in doing so, would expect to thrive in NetSuite’s new program for managing and ranking partners."

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