CRN Exclusive: OutSystems Launches Channel Program Focused On Enabling Global Partners To Rapidly Deliver Custom Apps

OutSystems will launch a new channel program on Tuesday intended to better enable a global base of partners looking to leverage its low-code development platform to create comprehensive software solutions for customers.

The OutSystems Global Partner Program expands the Atlanta, Ga.-based Platform-as-a-Service vendor's channel focus from regional services providers to systems integration giants, ISVs and cloud providers serving large enterprises.

To build out the ecosystem, Bob Wilson, who formally ran worldwide channel sales at GE Digital, and before that, the North American channel at Red Hat, joined OutSystems about six months ago as vice president of global channels and alliances.

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The program debuts with new partner relationships with Persistent Systems, Carahsoft, Deloitte, Cognizant, PwC, Transnational E-Business Solutions, L&T InfoTech, CapGemini and KPMG.

OutSystems, founded in Portugal in 2001, offers a platform with visual tools and simple connectors that can be deployed in unison with custom code for developing traditional and mobile applications. That makes it possible for many legacy VARs to deliver unique solutions without hiring full-fledged development teams.

Now that OutSystems has become a $100-million company, Wilson said, the next level of business involves building out a channel inclusive of partners that work on a global scale. The channel is becoming increasingly vital to the company's business, with a 78 percent year-over-year increase last year in revenue sourced through partners.

Demand is surging for low-code development platforms partly because partners are adopting those solutions like never before to enhance their practices, according to Wilson.

The reason is simple: low-code platforms speed delivery to customers, who themselves are in ultra-competitive industries and need to get digital products to market as soon as possible.

"A lot of these partner organizations are building out digital transformation practices, and they see getting into a very strategic, different conversation with the customer as part of that vision, where they're the trusted advisor," Wilson told CRN.

"They're looking at changing the conversation with the customer, solving their business problems, and offering the clients a complete solution," he said.

To enable its almost 200 partners through the new program, OutSystems has added partner playbooks that outline sales, technical enablement, education and training, certification, deal registration and go-to-market strategies.

Shriram Natarajan, digital CTO of Persistent Systems, said the 27-year-old technological services company is using OutSystems technology to solve problems for some of its largest customers, including other tech companies.

In the past, the relationship with the vendor has been opportunistic, Natarajan said, but the new channel program "allows us to have a closer view of what they have in the pipeline coming up and be mutually assured we have common strategic goals. Rather than ad hoc, one-off things, we have a cohesive way of going to market."

Persistent's customers are increasingly "software-driven," he said, with their digital solutions deeply intertwined with business strategies and relied on to deliver enterprise agility.

While the technology services company headquartered in India has a long history as a development shop, the number of customers seeking custom solutions has been ramping for several years, he said, with the outcomes of those projects "more near-and-dear to the enterprise business users."

Especially with mobile apps, the projects are getting smaller, and turnaround is expected quicker, Natarajan said.

"There's a huge, growing market for apps and experiences that are quick to conceive, deliver and consume," Natarajan told CRN. "For those, we need the rapidity of an OutSystems to go from concept to creation."

The platform's pre-built usage scenarios, workflows and process management tools take the headache out of those engagements, he said.

"With OutSystems, we get to the finish line faster," Natarajan told CRN.